The Gifted deliver crafty present to young women in Harlow

Charity / Fri 18th Dec 2020 at 11:14am

Youth empowerment organisation, The Gifted, deliver a crafty present to young women in Harlow and surrounding areas 

YOUNG women in Stewards, Passmores, Ongar Academy, John Warner and Lea Valley High School who have taken part in The Gifted’s Butterfly Project have all been delivered a goody bag full of everything they need to get crafty over the Christmas holidays and take up crochet. 

Over 70 packs have been gifted to the schools, each containing two crochet hooks and balls of yarn of different sizes, along with an instruction booklet on how to get started.

Of these packs, some were donated to Ongar Academy’s hamper and raffle collection, to raise funds to benefit the PTA so that they can add a further wellbeing project for the school. 

The Gifted, a youth empowerment charity based in Cheshunt, has a longstanding relationship with many of these schools, and The Butterfly Project is a big part of this. A six week programme, its aim is to develop young women’s self-esteem and empower participants to gain confidence and take control of their futures. 

“As a charity, we have had to adapt our offering and how we reach and support our participants, over the past year,” explains Tori Jacovides, Partnerships and Progressions Manager at The Gifted. “Due to restrictions we haven’t been able to go into every school and support our Butterflies as we would have liked, but it’s been important to ensure that they know we’re still her and haven’t left them. Prior to the first lockdown, thanks to funding from Children in Need, we were able to provide each participant with a goody bag full of care products and mindfulness activities, and we sent out another care pack to each young woman as the lockdown eased.

“As we returned to some of the schools to deliver The Butterfly Project in September, we found that the things affecting our participants’ wellbeing in the second lockdown were not the same as the first. The biggest thing here was how much they missed their grandparents and just how much of their spare time they are spending on their phones, as their social activities were restricted.  

“In 2018 we created a project with John Warner School called The Clothmaker’s Wings, which focused on the textile trade and the significant role that Hertfordshire women had to play in its development. The crochet packs that we are now delivering to schools have all been inspired by this project, to help our Butterfly Project participants to increase their wellbeing, take up a new skill and – with the uncertainty of Christmas – perhaps connect with family members in a different way through asking for tips and hopefully sharing their new love of crochet and everything they can make.”

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