Kirkcaldy Carers Centre tackles social-isolation with craft classes for unpaid carers

Fife Carers Centre in Kirkcaldy is offering free craft classes to unpaid carers as a way to beat social-isolation, and make new friends.
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The centre, which has been in the town for 23 years, will host them every second Thursday

After a year of meeting online due to the pandemic, the Crafty Carers group is set to resume face-to-face meetings next week.

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Martina Forsyth, a carer support worker, created the group six years ago as a way for unpaid carers to unwind, tackle social-isolation, and to relieve stress.

Carer support worker, Martina Forsyth, who runs the Crafty Carer group.Carer support worker, Martina Forsyth, who runs the Crafty Carer group.
Carer support worker, Martina Forsyth, who runs the Crafty Carer group.
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She said: “The group gives unpaid carers a chance to come along and work on stitch based crafts. We do knitting and crocheting among other things.

"We work on projects such as making squares for quilts to go to homeless people, and also make baby hats for the maternity ward at Victoria Hospital.

"We will also be holding a Christmas Fair where we sell some of our creations with the money raised going to various charity projects the next year.

One of the quilts that the group has made.One of the quilts that the group has made.
One of the quilts that the group has made.
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"Throughout lockdown last year we held the classes via Zoom video calls, but now, as things ease off, we are able to offer face-to-face meetings again.”

The centre has recently been awarded funding from Fife Centre for Equalities (FCE) Community Fund.

As a result, it is able too support more people from ethnic minority backgrounds.

Martina added: "The group offers unpaid carers, some of whom may be socially-isolated, a safe space to come along and make things, which is good for their mental health. “We make things that are quick to create which gives people instant gratification, and it also helps to reduce anxiety.

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"Some people are caring for their child who has ADHD or autism, which can be a barrier for them to make new friends and to have a social life. The group is about bringing people together.

"If all the unpaid carers were to stop caring, everything would fall apart – we want to keep them healthy and happy.”

The Crafty Carer group is held at Fife Carers Centre every second Thursday from 1:30pm – 3:00pm, for more information, please call: 01592 205472.

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