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The idea of the Winter Workshops was to share a variety of crafting skills that can be put into practice again and again in the future.

Organiser Shaunagh Smith, Volunteer Co-ordinator at the University, said: “There are so many talented members of staff here at the University of Chester. The workshops gave them an excellent platform to share their skills with students. It was a real pleasure to see so many people come together to do something different.”

The workshops were well attended, with over 40 staff and students joining in to learn how to crochet stars, make decoupage candle holders, upcycle books into beautiful decorations and even make some reindeer food to take home ready for Rudolph on Christmas Eve!

Hand-crafted gifts and decorations are unique, personal and fun to make, and craft and creativity can be a great tool for improving wellbeing. Annika Mozer, a Wildlife Conservation student who attended, said: “I really, really enjoyed the event. There were so many different crafts to do, which was awesome. I also liked that for the jars and book crafts it was recycling old things into something new, and all the people were so nice and helpful.”

As well as sharing skills, the event took place on what many now call, ‘Black Friday’; a day promoting consumption. The Winter Workshops event put an emphasis on making and creating using sustainable materials and upcycling items that most people might already have at home, like jam jars and books.

Volunteers from a variety of departments also donated cakes and bakes which were sold at the event, raising a fantastic £86.46. All of the money raised, will be donated to Share Shop, through the University’s Seaborne Library Caring Cups campaign.

Organiser Chloe Percival, who works in the Marketing, Recruitment and Admissions team, said: “Many who attended stayed for quite a while, trying different workshops and chatting with the workshop volunteers. I think we all found new ways to make the festive season more sustainable and came away with personal, handmade gifts. The money raised was truly fantastic. All round, a great success!”

Thank you to everyone that attended and supported the event, and to all of the volunteers who made the idea become reality.



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