‘Cranky Crafters’ celebrate 30 years

A talented craft group set up for disabled people is preparing to celebrate its 30th anniversary.

The group, who call themselves ‘the Cranky Crafters’, meet at the Charnos Family Support Centre on Lower Whitworth Road, Ilkeston.



The group, which meets on Tuesdays, is made up of crafters aged from 18 through to 82.

But it is looking for more to join them in card making, knitting, jewellery, crafts and sewing to share expertise and socialise with like-minded individuals.

The longest-standing member is treasurer Amanda Winfield, 56, of Ilkeston, who only has five per cent of her vision in each eye, and has been a part of the group for almost 20 years.

“I love coming here, not just for the crafts but for the social aspect too,” she said. “It’s a getaway from life’s troubles.

“We have so much fun, many people who are affected by a disability often feel isolated and this group intends to overcome that hurdle, whether it’s a physical or mental disability we’ll welcome you.”

The group also runs monthly trips, organised by Amanda. Last month saw a shopping trip to Birmingham’s market for fabric and craft materials and in March the group visited the seaside in Bridlington.

Margaret Dobson, 71, from Long Eaton, attends with her husband Colin, 74. After having 11 strokes and suffering heart failure she has been attending the group for five years.

“Doing the crafts, especially with the group, has really helped me overcome the disabilities I have battled, especially my speech difficulties as a result of the strokes,” she said.

“I have had a few operations and everyone in the group has really supported me and helped me through.”

Colin isn’t the only male member, as 82-year-old Joy Kemp, who suffers with osteoperosis also attends with husband Bob, 70.

Bob said: “We used to have a lot more male members and we’d really like to have a few more so we can do a few more macho crafts together.”

The group also hold regular stalls at Ilkeston market, particularly at Christmas, where they aim to raise money for their materials.

They are hoping to expand the group and are inviting guest experts who may spececialise in different crafts.

Beverely Draper, 53, has active hepatitis autoimmune syndrome, and attends the group with her two daughters, Zoe, 20, and Shannon, 18 who are her carers. She specialises in card making.

“Although I don’t have a disability the group offers me some respite from caring and I love having a go at things like knitting that I really wouldn’t have the opportunity to do otherwise,” added Shannon.

The group meet from 10.15am until 12.30pm every Tuesday at Charnos Family Support Centre. A donation of £1.50 goes toward tea, coffee, biscuits and craft materials.

For more information about the group call Amanda Winfield on 0115 877 7137.