Amy Charles from Wolverhampton came to us with a plan to hold a weekly upcycling workshop at Gatis Community Space in Whitmore Reans.

Her aim was to teach children aged 12 and over to refashion their clothes with an emphasis on ethical consumerism and sustainability. The £300 grant from YouCan was used to help buy sewing supplies, second hand clothes, fabric and body forms or mannequins. Amy also planned to use the grant to pay towards stationery and printing, hire cost of the premises and advertising.

Gatis Gardeners yarn

When we caught up with Amy we discovered that her initial plans had changed slightly: “The upcycling workshop has mutated into a craft workshop which, if you think about it, is a sort of upcycling,” she told us. “The reason for the change in direction came about after doing some taster sessions in our on-site cafe to find out people were interested in.”

Amy went on to say: “I have spent the grant on yarn, knitting needles, crochet hooks, sewing supplies, fabric and clothes for upcycling. I have tried to buy second hand where possible as I want to promote ethical consumerism to get people thinking about buying less, choosing well and doing it yourself. We were also lucky enough to have two knitting machines donated to us.”

Open Tuesdays and Thursdays between 10am and 4pm, the community centre is becoming a hub of Gatis Gardeners girlsactivity for the children and adults in the local area since reopening. Amy says: “Gatis Community Space is the only community centre in the area and locals have fond memories of it so it’s great to see lots of people getting involved in these activities and using the place again.”

It certainly looks like the £300 YouCan grant is helping the community come together to enjoy new activities with Amy adding: “The kids are learning fast and the adults are picking up new knowledge and sharing their own skills.”

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