Dawn’s Story

Dawn joined the Handcrafted family in July 2021 after being made aware of Handcrafted by another organisation, Junction 42. When she first started coming to our Gateshead Hub, it was purely because she thought it would develop her technical skills in woodwork.


“I wanted something to be more creative”.


Dawn can often be found in the Gateshead workshop creating something for younger family members. One of her longer projects was a bright blue customised paw patrol toy box, which could not be missed by anyone who entered the workshop. Two months went on and as Dawn became more and more comfortable coming to our Gateshead Hub, she decided to also start attending our Women’s Group alongside her woodwork sessions.


Our Women’s Group meets once-a-week for an extended session of arts and crafts. The crafts have ranged from weaving to diamond art (a true group favourite) and impressively nothing has ever been repeated, yet! Even more importantly, the group has become a place where people come to become a part of an accepting community and grow in their confidence.


Dawn has been one of our most consistent members at Women’s Group over the last eight months and she would say that the Women’s Group is her favourite thing about Handcrafted:


“Not only because of the support but how friendly and welcoming it is. And of course, I love doing the arts and crafts every week”


The impact of our work is different for every trainee, depending on their specific personal background. For Dawn, being a part of Handcrafted has made an important difference to her mental wellbeing, social life, and confidence:


“It has helped a lot with my mental health and with my PTSD. It has made me come more out of my shell… because usually I would never come to something like this, I would just hide away and not bother entertaining being social.”


Dawn has become an integral part of our Handcrafted family and has welcomed many other new trainees since joining. She is known by everyone by her loud laugh, cheeky chat and contagious energy.


“Basically, to me it is just like a big family and a major support group. No matter what help you need everybody is there to help.”

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