Perched on the Sully coastline, overlooking the Bristol Channel, Tŷ Hafan is a tranquil place. This is the base of the Welsh charity who helps life-limited children and their families relax, have fun and share memories. This sense of purpose permeates into the workshop of Handcrafted by Tŷ Hafan, which looks out onto the children’s hospice. An innovative idea to create homeware, furniture and accessories from recycled materials, and provide a therapeutic space for the community, Penny Collins tells us more about Handcrafted and how we can support.
What does Handcrafted offer?
Upcycled furniture, decorations, pet accessories and homeware. Everything has been upgraded in some shape or form, whether that’s recycling textiles or creating a shabby chic piece with local paint.
Who’s behind the crafts?
Our makers are volunteers and supporters from all over Wales and even further afield – everybody’s welcome.
We often have the families and friends of children who use the hospice, and one volunteer was life-limited as a child but survived because of medical advances. She works here now.
We also welcome commercial and business supporters who volunteer as part of their corporate social responsibility and have team building days with a difference.
How does Handcrafted link back to Tŷ Hafan?
When we set up the workshop, we knew that it had to be based on site at the hospice, so as to be at the heart of what we do.
Our crafters can look out of the window whilst they’re working and see the hospice. So they know they’re helping our nursing staff to provide the practical, medical and emotional support our families so desperately need. The workshop is always open for the kids at the hospice to come over and see what’s going on.
Our materials are items that have been donated to us and we make the most of every single one. They’re given a new lease of life before being sold to raise funds. So every time you buy from Handcrafted, you know that you’re helping to fund Tŷ Hafan.
What have you learnt since opening Handcrafted?
I’ve seen how crafting and upcycling can benefit anybody – whether they’re a skilled, experienced crafter or just a group of blokes coming on a team building day. I’ve seen people gain great satisfaction from knowing that what they’re creating will be sold to make a difference to the children and families at Tŷ Hafan.
People are so generous with their time. Everybody’s good a something, even if it’s just cutting out triangles.
This is my dream job. I’ve always done arts and crafts so it’s a real privilege for it to be my career. I’m very lucky indeed.
What’s your tip for readers?
Find time to do crafting because it’s so rewarding to make something yourself. You’ll be surprised at how good you may be!
You can find the Handcrafted by Tŷ Hafan range at the Tŷ Hafan Abergavenny Emporium, Cardiff Emporium, and Penarth shop and at local events.
If you would like to volunteer at the workshop, you can get in touch with Penny Collins via the website.
What people say:
“Not only an opportunity to do something positive and meaningful in the local community, but also an opportunity to develop and learn new skills.”
“A fantastic, humbling day. Would love to come back. Spent a very therapeutic, but productive afternoon with Penny. Thanks for the experience!
“I have realised I am a more creative person than I thought. I can see why the upcycled items are so popular. I have really bought into the whole.”