Volunteers are being recruited across Birmingham as part of a new drive to reduce loneliness and connect people through craft activity.

The We Care Coasters campaign will work with primary schools and young people through Birmingham Scouts & Guides. 

The initiative will see gift packages being given to care-home residents and isolated people within the community.

The craft campaign is a collaboration between the Hive Café & Bakery - which was voted the country’s most ethical, responsible and sustainable venue at last year’s VisitEngland awards - and the Birmingham More In Common group - part of a growing national network of volunteers. 

Commenting on the We Care Coasters initiative, The Hive’s Naomi Clarke said: “We’re looking for people who already crochet or macramé to get involved and use their creative skills and a few spare hours to contribute to this craft campaign, but we’re also really keen to hear from people who are completely new to craft and would like to learn some new skills. We’ve prepared starter packs with tools, yarn, written instructions and video tutorials to create basic coasters.”

Suzanne Carter from Birmingham More In Common said: “We will be safely delivering gift packs to care homes and to people who could do with a little boost. They will include a handmade drinks coaster, cards and personalised messages from their makers, and a few treats to have with a cuppa! We’re involving children and young people as well as adult crafters to show how, as active citizens, their actions have the power to brighten someone’s day. Anyone can experience loneliness in their lifetime. It is often small acts of kindness that make a difference.”

Anyone interested in joining the volunteer craft team (aged 18-plus) or teachers interested in involving their schools should contact Naomi and Suzanne by email at craft@thehive.rmlt.org.uk. The project is being run with Covid-19-secure procedures in place, to keep all volunteers and gift recipients safe.