Craft4Smiles C.I.C. is a community that is passionate about crafting and that is intent on ensuring that as many people as possible can participate in the activities that have been of significant benefit to our own wellbeing. We offer high quality paper crafting and mixed media courses, volunteering and tutor training.
We are a social enterprise and are incorporated as a Community Interest Company (C.I.C.), a limited company which operates to provide a benefit to the community. We are therefore 'not for profit’ with all profits made being invested in the organization. There is more about the 'C.I.C.' model here.
To improve mental wellbeing through crafting and related activities.
That more people will experience positive wellbeing and more people will have the confidence and skills needed to improve their life chances and to make the best contribution they can to the communities in which they live and work.
Established as a social enterprise to work with adults aged 18 years and over, we aim to improve wellbeing through crafting and related activities. We work with anyone who wants to improve their wellbeing. However, we are particularly keen to reach people who are isolated or lonely or who are experiencing significant life challenges and/or mental health problems, including as a result of Covid-19.
Through our courses, we provide the opportunity to make high quality paper crafted items, developing relationships with, and supporting participants to build skills, self-esteem, self-confidence and connections so that they are able to contribute to the communities in which they live and work.
Craft4Smiles C.I.C. is founded on the premise that creative activity has a major role to play in maintaining and improving mental and physical wellbeing and that this type of activity is helpful in both preventing the onset of a mental health problem and supporting recovery. By applying the Five Ways to Wellbeing we aim to build confidence and skills:
Connect… With the people around you. With family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. At home, work, school or in your local community. Think of these as the cornerstones of your life and invest time in developing them. Building these connections will support and enrich you every day.
Be active… Go for a walk or run. Step outside. Cycle. Play a game. Garden. Dance. Exercising makes you feel good. Most importantly, discover a physical activity you enjoy and that suits your level of mobility and fitness.
Take notice… Be curious. Catch sight of the beautiful. Remark on the unusual. Notice the changing seasons. Savour the moment, whether you are walking to work, eating lunch or talking to friends. Be aware of the world around you and what you are feeling. Reflecting on your experiences will help you appreciate what matters to you.
Keep learning… Try something new. Rediscover an old interest. Sign up for that course. Take on a different responsibility at work. Fix a bike. Learn to play an instrument or how to cook your favourite food. Set a challenge you enjoy achieving. Learning new things will make you more confident as well as being fun.
Give … Do something nice for a friend, or a stranger. Thank someone. Smile. Volunteer your time. Join a community group. Look out, as well as in. Seeing yourself, and your happiness, as linked to the wider community can be incredibly rewarding and creates connections with the people around you.
These were identified as areas for individual action equivalent to 'five fruit and vegetables a day' as an outcome of the 2008 Foresight Report read more.
We will achieve our aims by working to the 5 Ways to Wellbeing:
- Be active
- Take Notice
- Keep Learning
- Give to Others
We aim to:
- Include and empower everyone who joins in with our activities.
- Be kind and compassionate.
- Respect others and their views.
- Acknowledge the contribution made by everyone however small.
- Go the extra mile.
The value of the arts in improving mental and physical wellbeing is increasingly acknowledged with, perhaps, most importantly, in 2017, The All Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing: Creative Health: The Arts for Health and Wellbeing finding that:
'It is time to recognise the powerful contribution that arts can make to health and wellbeing. There are now many examples and much evidence of the beneficial impact they can have. We have 3 key messages: ' The arts can help':
- keep us well, aid recovery and support longer lives better lived.
- meet major challenges facing health and social care: ageing, loneliness and mental health.
- save money in the health service and social care.'
The report recommended that 'Be creative' should be added as a '6th Way to Wellbeing'.
Objective 1: To support people to grow in self-esteem and confidence.
Objective 2: To help to build individual and community resilience.
Objective 3: To help individuals to develop skills and expertise in paper crafting.
Objective 4: To help individuals to make the best contribution they can to the communities in which they live and work.
Objective 5: To provide volunteering and work opportunities, including in the running of Craft4Smiles C.I.C. and employment within/by the organization.
Our Strategic Objectives
In order to ensure that we achieve our aims and objectives we have identified 4 strategic objectives (organizational objectives) that will ensure that Craft4Smiles C.I.C. is a thriving and sustainable community. As we develop, these will be revisited and are likely to change:
Strategic Objective 1: To develop our organization collaboratively with craft group participants, members and external stakeholders.
Strategic Objective 2: To work collaboratively with other arts and crafting organizations locally and nationally.
Strategic Objective 3: To provide opportunities for the exhibition of unique crafted products.
Strategic Objective 4: To become a viable and sustainable organization.
Feedback and the outcomes recorded following our courses have shown that what we have to offer builds confidence and skills, enables people to move towards their personal goals and make a greater contribution to their families, communities and workplaces.
Who We Are
Fiona Adley, Co-Founder/Director
I have a real passion for helping to ensure those who, as a result of a mental health problem, loneliness or exclusion, find that the they are not able to fulfill their potential and/or to participate fully in their communities and families. I have been lucky enough to live and breathe this passion, through my many years of work in the NHS and with Councils across the country. I am even luckier now - I have been able to set up an organization for which this is the sole focus.
I first came to Cambridge in October 2016. I met Gray early in 2017 - ballroom dancing! We had both decided that we wanted to learn something new and, fortunately, this brought us together - if we hadn't decided to set out on new pathways, we might never have met. Very soon after meeting him, I discovered that Gray was passionate about paper crafting, a natural teacher and desperate to use this, and his own learning from the various challenges that he had navigated throughout his life, to help others. I have been very lucky to have the chance to learn a myriad of crafts over the last 4 years and we now spend much of our time in the our craft room at our home in Papworth Everard. I have discovered that the artistic side of me has much more potential than I had ever thought and I thrive on crafting in general and on creating one-off pieces in particular. You can see what we get up to day-by-day in 'Crafting Notes' on the Crafting Page.
I have always been interested in how organizations run, wanting to set up my own organization in a way that everyone, whatever, their ability or role inside or outside is considered to be equal and has the opportunity to give whatever they have to give to it. Meeting Gray has given me just the opportunity I was looking for.
Over the next 3 years, working with group participants in our courses and the community that we build together, we will work towards generating over 50% income from sales of our craft courses so that we are not reliant on craft funding. This will be achieved through sales of our crafting courses and by offering members of our community the opportunity to display the items they have made in our gallery In time, we will extend the opportunity to sell through our web-site to paper crafters who have not participated in our courses.
Grahame Adley, Co-Founder/Director
Life has presented me with a number of challenges and opportunities and I am keen to make use of what I have learned as I worked through these to help others who are struggling to build the confidence and skills they need to progress and improve their mental wellbeing.
In 2005, I lost my wife, Chris to cancer. I started to paint and then moved to crafting to help to fill the gap she left in my life. I spent the next 12 years learning and acquiring equipment and materials working under the name "One Off Originals". I have learned that there is creativity within all of us and I am as passionate about helping others to explore this as I am about sharing my learning through my life experiences to help and support others.
When I met Fiona, I was considering volunteering to work with a charity as a craft tutor. Through Fiona's contacts, I started to explore the opportunities across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough and was lucky with the timing, finding the opportunity to become a tutor with Lifecraft, Cambridge which had just succeeded in a bid to the People's Trust for funding for crafting, art and singing activities. Evidently, this was 'just meant to be'! I found that, as I had hoped, I was able to help a number of people and that we could have a lot of fun along the way.
Over the next 2 years I worked with 87 different people. This included running some classes in Newmarket when Lifecraft opened there on a part time basis. When the 2 years of People's Trust funding came to an end, Fiona and I decided that the activity had been so successful and enjoyable for all concerned, that we would continue to run the group on a voluntary basis while we set up a business. That was in August 2019. In November 2019, we were registered as a C.I.C. with Companies House.
Many of the original members of the Lifecraft craft group continue to attend the craft group and 6 new people have joined us. Despite the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, we are all working hard to develop the range of activities we offer.
Modestas Kavaliauskas, Director
Earlier this year I joined the NHS England and NHS Improvement National Adult Mental Health Team to lead a programme of policy delivery and development for adult crisis care. Prior to joining the National Team I have worked for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough system where my role for nearly 4 years has been to oversee the development of the high profile programme – Mental Health Crisis Care Concordat. I have also led and coordinated a number of community-based mental health service redesign projects focused on ensuring delivery of more resilient mental health services locally. This is where I had the huge pleasure to work, get to know and develop great friendship with Fiona and Graham.
Soon after graduating from MSc in Health Systems, Economics and Public Policy in 2013 I relocated from Edinburgh to Cambridge and worked as a consultant on evaluations of British Council global and regional projects as well as conducted the evaluation of the impact and Return of Investment of the NHS Leadership Academy and NHS Education Scotland various programmes.
I have always been an artsy soul that enjoys painting and fashion and also loves travelling, cooking and various sport activities. I believe that various art forms and, in particular, crafting can immensely help people to forget some of day to day worries, connect us with one another and foster positivity and wellbeing. I am really excited to join Craft4Smiles C.I.C. on this very exciting journey to improve people’s day to day lives through crafting activities.
Michela Marchi-Bartolozzi, Director
Michela has just joined the Board. She joined one of the courses delivered by Gray at Lifecraft in 2018 and has been involved with Craft4Smiles ever since. She has participated in a number of face-to-face classes and is now completing the online from 'Beginner to Advanced Crafter' course. She has been a volunteer for 4 years and is now training to become a tutor.
Michela assists at one of the groups run in Peterborough where she has also designed and delivered a number of classes herself. The help she gives on a weekly basis is invaluable - both when she joins Fiona and Gray on a weekly basis to help out and doing a lot of preparation at home between times. We are very pleased to welcome her to the Board. She brings passion and commitment to both Craft4Smiles and the activiities that we offer and the perspective of both course participant and trainee tutor along with her own life experiences.
A photo and Michela's own words will follow shortly!
'I just wanted to say thank you for the way you made the sessions fun, encouraging and welcoming made me feel like I belonged somewhere, something I haven’t felt in a really long time. You helped me re-discover my passion for crafts and arts, it's really helped me along in my recovery and contributed in my decision to apply for a course. So for everything I mentioned, I am always grateful.' B
'Thank you both for all the help and support you have given me. And for opening the world of crafts to me. I can't thank you enough.' L
Our Annual Reports describe our achievements and the challenges we have faced over the previous year and summarise our current and future objectives. Click the links below to read them:
- 2019-20 (Year 1)
- 2020-21 (Year 2)
- 2021-22 (Year 3)