Art Makers welcomed to centre

Henshaws Arts and Crafts Centre in Knaresborough is celebrating Learning Disability Week as it welcomes more new Art Makers.

Monday, 14th June 2021, 11:18 am

Learning Disability Week, organised by Mencap, takes place from June 14-20 and this year’s theme is art and creativity.

Arts and Crafts Centre Business Manager Janine Stone said: “It has been a difficult year for both disabled people and charities so we are pleased to be celebrating this week with our Art Makers old and new, having been able to open to new Art Makers recently.

“Mencap says that getting creative has been a way for people with learning disabilities and their families to stay connected and positive through the challenges of the last year and we couldn’t agree more.

“Since the Arts and Crafts Centre opened more than 20 years ago, we have seen the benefits it brings to our Art Makers, as well as to the wider community.”

One of the Centre’s Art Makers, Rebecca Stephens, said: “Art and creativity means everything to me.

“It makes me feel happy because I can express myself by being creative, and Henshaws gives me the space and facilities to create works of art to sell to our customers in the shop.”

Although having to close during the Covid pandemic, the time allowed the team to look at new ways of operating once reopened.

Janine said: “We had a massive clear out and looked at which of our workshops provided the most value to our Art Makers and have returned to the creative roots of the Arts and Crafts Centre.

“We have now been able to reopen our shop and plans are under way to reopen both the café and the garden as soon as it is safe to do so.

“I am delighted we have been able to welcome applications from old and new Art Makers and we are also looking at some new initiatives, such as youth and after school clubs for some of the disabled young people in the area.”

Henshaws provides vocational training for people with disabilities and hosts activities within the community such as craft fairs.

Every week, over 150 Art Makers take part in a range of workshops, including employability training, health and wellbeing, arts and crafts and multi-sensory.