Crafting Together emerged as a direct response to the lack of post-school employment opportunities for people with Learning Disabilities. Our roots are to be found in the Developing the Young Workforce programme at Kilpatrick (ASN) School in Clydebank. In 2018 four teachers from Kilpatrick School together with two supportive friends, registered Crafting Together CIC as a social enterprise. Our aim was to showcase the creative strengths and employability skills of young adults with additional support for learning needs.
Crafting Together started with six former pupils of Kilpatrick School attending one workshop a week. We came through the pandemic, continued to grow and currently have twenty Artists and Makers participating in five weekly workshops, with more people on our waiting list.
Crafting Together reflects our passion and belief that everyone who wants to, should have the expectation and opportunity to engage in meaningful work within a community of supportive colleagues; it is our way of addressing the 'what next?' question that is frequently asked by parents and carers at the point when young people leave school and move into the adult world. The most recent available employment statistics for people with learning disabilities paint a very stark picture.
(SCLD 2016, SCLD 2018, The Fraser of Allander Institute 2021).
https://fraserofallander.org/publications/report-scotlands-employment-landscape-for-people-with-learning-disabilities March 2021
https://www.scld.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Employment-Task-Group-Report_FINAL_copy.pdf November 2018
As well as offering practical skills training in a range of crafts, Crafting Together also offers support and training in the soft skills that employers require from their employees.
However, Crafting Together is about more than just offering employability training and work experience, Crafting Together’s vision is to create a range of paid part time, supported employment opportunities for people with Learning Disabilities. The creative talents and manufacturing skills of our Artists and Makers should be valued and rewarded through payment of a living wage. Crafting Together, can be part of the solution to the many issues raised in the reports cited above.
Participating at Crafting Together has a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of our Artists and Makers, tackling loneliness, isolation and the frustration of being marginalised.
‘I’m glad I came today. It’s been good for me to take my mind off feeling sad’
“I’m very proud of myself because I've learnt new skills.
It makes me so happy and active”.
We are supported by a dedicated team of workshop leaders. volunteers, board members, family members and friends. Our workshop leaders and volunteers are pvg checked by Disclosure Scotland. Crafting Together is connected to local organisations including Kilpatrick School, West College Scotland, Skills Development Scotland, Clydeside Creative, the Richmond Fellowship, Social Enterprise Scotland, the Scottish Design Exchange and Business Gateway.
Our studio is at Titan Enterprise, Queens’ Quay, Clydebank; just a stone's throw away from the River Clyde and the Titan Crane in West Dunbartonshire.
We are proud to work with awamu who make our Scotland map beads for us. We pay a fair price for each hand formed paper bead and support skills development of vulnerable young women in the slums of Kampala. Uganda.
Crafting Together products are sold here on our online shop and at a growing number of gift shops across Scotland. Find out more on our stockists page. Proceeds from product sales will go towards Crafting Together’s aim of creating part time supported employment for our Artists and Makers.
Grant funding from the Lottery Community Fund has allowed us to start the journey towards achieving our ambitious aims for people with additional support for learning needs.