We are delighted to be starting a new project with the residents of Charis House, Buxton, a safe place where homeless women, including those escaping from domestic violence, and women recovering from drug and alcohol dependency can find rest and recovery.
High Peak Community Arts has worked with Good News Family Care (who run Charis House) since 2014 via the Creative Wellbeing project. This programme works with its residents and other women in the community in a wide range of creative arts. Workshops are held at Good News Family Care’s Family Centre or Oldfield Farm.
Funded by The Ashley Foundation, The South West Peak Landscape Partnership, and the John Booth Charitable Trust, the project seeks to provide a fun, creative way of learning new skills, socialising and doing something different. The main ingredient in this project comes straight from local fields, courtesy of our four-legged fleeced friends at Oldfield Farm! Local Lleyn sheep take centre stage, with women learning all the processes about how to transform a sheep’s fleece into carded wool – washing, sorting, dying, and carding – and then using the carded wool for wet felting, needle felting and weaving, as well as spinning the carded wool into yarn.
Working with local artist Carol Wilson, project participants will create final pieces from the fleece – these may be woven, knitted, crocheted or felted. The idea is that the yarn can also be sold in local shops as a way of generating much needed extra funds for Charis House.
“The first project we ever did at Charis House was felting, which the women really enjoyed so, when the farm acquired 6 Lleyn sheep, it seemed ideal to revisit and expand the idea, this time involving the whole process from the shearing to the finished items. We see this is a long term venture so that staff can use their sheep to generate useful activity and income” (Alison Bowry, Project Co-ordinator, High Peak Community Arts)
“It’s fun doing it all together, working as a team. You get that feeling that people have been doing this kind of activity over centuries. And you really appreciate all the work it takes to transform wool into, say, a jumper…” (Jan, Volunteer, Charis House)
In 2018, the project will be using commercial dyes. Next year, participants will be using natural dyes, including those that will be created from plants (such as woad) that grow on Oldfield Farm.
Between 2018-19, the project aims to work with a minimum of 30 women in over 40 workshops.
For more information, please contact Alison on 01663 744516 or at email@example.com.