Every Wednesday a group of residents at Kathleen Chambers House in Burnham-on-Sea meet to enjoy an afternoon of stick weaving together. The group started just over a year ago thanks to a local charity, Somerset Sight, whose staff and volunteers visited the home to demonstrate how easy and accessible this activity is for visually impaired people.
Heather Large, 100, a resident at the home, helped set the group up with Somerset Sight last year. She said ‘there was nothing going on in this hobby room before Somerset Sight came and showed us how to do stick weaving. It is so lovely this group started and is going from strength to strength. We all enjoy it so much. It is a very social group and we have such a laugh, we are even writing our own song.’
They started with Easter chick wall hangings, then went on to owls and progressed to three dimensional items like sheep, pigs, bags and toilet roll holders.
Originally a group of 3, their numbers have now swelled to 9 regular members. They have named themselves the ‘Wednesday Weavers’ and they sell a range of items to other residents, staff, and local people. Following the summer fair the group had a backlog of orders.
The weavers are supported by volunteers Jenny Sinclair and Sue Fountain. Jenny started helping when her mother joined the group. Her mother sadly passed away later on last year but Jenny still makes the journey from Chard to Burnham-on-Sea each week. She said ‘it’s great that Somerset Sight set this group up. It helps the members concentrate on what they can do rather than what they can’t so it is very liberating for them. It is a brilliant activity for visually impaired people but also for those with limited dexterity in their hands due to arthritis. They come up with ideas themselves and they are so enthusiastic; many of them arrive early and don’t want to leave.’
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