Everyone CAN Craft CIC

The story of Everyone CAN Craft CIC is told in the book Crafting a Healing Journey for People and Places. (click here to find it on Amazon) The book starts by telling the story of how Susan and her friend, called Grace in the book, started a craft group for people with profound learning disabilities.

This group became the prototype for the idea of starting community groups to help not just the communities they served but the churches that set them up. Well that was not the original reason for setting up the group. It was supposed to be a testing ground for Susan’s ideas on setting up community groups. Her idea was to support Grace getting something off the ground that could test her ideas. It did not quite work out like that.

First came the church’s response to the next project Susan wanted to set up. They wanted complete control of it unless Susan made sure that there was no way that anyone inside or outside the church could connect the project to the church. The separation option was easier than the control option.

The impact of lockdown

The craft group collapsed when the first lockdown started. After lockdown Grace was unable to pick up the threads of her life before Covid due to the health challenges she and her husband were facing. This made it much harder to restart the group.

The way Susan tried to keep the idea going during lockdown led to the founding of Everyone CAN Craft CIC. A community interest company is a common legal structure for social enterprises in the UK. It is designed to promote the use of crafts for health and wellbeing.

Preparing to become a community groups midwife

Susan’s original aim with the original project was to be a midwife supporting Grace. The church’s response to her thoughts about another project made it very hard for her try doing other things as midwife. She then started using Everyone CAN Craft as a prototype learning things that would help future projects in different ways hence testting the various systems for selling stuff e.g. market stalls and eBay.

Four years after that response Susan has healed enough to start thinking about picking up the threads as a community groups midwife. Her challenge is that she is still caring for Everyone CAN Craft CIC and she does not want to allow that social enterprise to die.