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Changes Christmas Craft Stall Review

11 December 2013

Christmas arrived early for some Changes members this year, who braved the cold, crisp air on Sunday morning for St Werburghs City Farm’s annual Christmas Fair! Over the last few weeks at Creating Changes members have been working tirelessly to make crafty donations for our stall – Christmas tree decorations, beautiful pendants, earrings, motivational fridge magnets, survival bracelets – you name it, we were selling it!  Fuelled only by tea and cookies, the production line closed for the last time last week, but the efforts were certainly worth it!

Despite hearing that Father Christmas was on a very tight schedule and could therefore only be at the fair between 2pm and 4pm, our Christmas spirit couldn’t be dampened!  We donned our festive hats, stuffed hand warmers in our boots and danced along to the fantastic live music to keep ourselves warm as the customers rolled in!  It was great to see the excited look on people’s faces when we told them about Changes support groups and that they would be very much welcome at any meeting.  We even got chatting to a very inspirational lady who had set up a crisis centre for women in Bristol, and made a little boy’s day with a motivational whale!  These whales were a real joy to have on the stall, especially as they had been made and transported (all 24 of them!) all the way from Bath by a mental health activist!

Something that was very evident from the stall however was the love that Changes members have for the organisation.  People who had struggled to leave their house half a year ago were now in a position where they could come to visit a busy craft stall and, not only that, have been able to complete a facilitator training course – all because of Changes and their own inner strength and determination!  Fantastic or what!!!  Also, despite being quite unwell at present, another member was able to channel all of their remaining energy into making beautiful crafts to be sold, and another acted as our own personal chauffeur, without any complaint whatsoever.  It is people like this that make it all worthwhile.

Time flew, and stock and leaflets flew with it.  We made a great amount of money through the stall, but most importantly we got people talking about mental health unashamedly, encouraged people to come to meeting and made sure that Changes Bristol is becoming firmly on the radar.  Long may it continue!