Salford’s Craft Socials have gone online as a way to keep crafting alive through the global pandemic, despite lockdown measures.

A mini-embroidering class held on 14th October was the second of its kind with Caroline Coates leading the community social online via zoom.

The Salford artist explains: “I think the pandemic has actually been a really good advert for craft.

There was one point during lockdown where you had to wait several weeks to get anything ordered from Hobbycraft because there was such a backlog.

Literally, the whole country went, ‘well what are we going to do?’ We are going to learn a new craft!”

Participants had signed up in the weeks commencing, and received an arts and crafts package through the post with everything they needed to take part, for just £8! Once on the call, Caroline talked through and demonstrated various different stitches, allowing attendees to learn the basics. There was also the opportunity to have a chat with fellow crafters.

Credit; Gemma Gosden

The impact on people’s wellbeing during the pandemic has been substantial, with more than two-thirds of adults feeling somewhat worried about the effect COVID-19 is having on their life. 

However, engaging with visual arts can “reduce anxiety and improve mood”, according to University College London’s MARCH mental health network.

Edward Hurst, Events and Programming Officer at Salford Museum and Art Gallery, was concerned that regular crafters wouldn’t take part online: “I was worried that the same people won’t turn up who would normally come in person. It’s good that we would get people coming along still, but it’s as much about the social as it is the craft. What has been really nice is that regulars have started coming to the online classes as well.”

If you want to get involved in the next craft social, follow @SalfordMuseum on Twitter.

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