Sheffield local women’s craft group celebrates International Women’s Day

10 March 2022

A Sheffield women’s craft group hosted an afternoon of cake, coffee, tea and beautiful handicrafts to celebrate International Women’s Day.

Solace Women’s Craft Group, which meets every week at the Common Ground Community Centre, had a more special way of spending the day, with the ladies making deco patches together.

Lydia Ajiboye, the founder of the group, started this non-profit organisation in Sheffield in March 2015 which aims to help a variety of vulnerable women.

“I struggled with serious mental health issues a few years ago, when I left the hospital, I found that there was no women’s group that was suitable for in Sheffield at that time.

“Therefore I came to mind of setting up a group where ladies could come together to craft, socialise and enhance the mental health of ladies like me.”

Glass painting, yarn painting, mosaic painting, they have tried everything related to handicrafts, whether perfect or not.

Glass painting the ladies made

Ms Ajiboye said: “Many of the crafts we make are functional crafts that can be really used and the ladies often take them home – this is a way of boosting their self-esteem and confidence.”

Although Solace Women’s Craft Group now meets regularly, it is actually funded entirely by Ms Ajiboye alone.

“We should have had a bigger event for International Women’s Day, but were unable to do so because of lack of financial support.

“We are looking for funding and support,” Ms Ajiboye added.

Although it is difficult to cover all the costs alone, such as the purchase of the craft materials used by the ladies, Ms Ajiboye’s goal is still to keep going and help as many women as possible to gain confidence and self-esteem.

Dawn Smith, one of the first volunteers for the craft group, thought Ms Ajiboye is doing a brilliant thing, she said: “I have witnessed many ladies’ health journeys, such as some with severe anxiety disorders, getting better as they attend the event.

“I love watching the ladies helping each other out here, developing small skills that can be applied to social situations.”

Written by Rui Li

Student journalist at The University of Sheffield

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