Sadly, most of these earlier participants or non participants are now departed, either through illness, moving into residential care or passed away.
However the 50+ group goes on from strength to strength. My group size now ranges from 6 up to 14. Abilities are varied, which often sets me a challenge how I will facilitate each person's access to the crafting session. The group have physical and mental disabilities; alkzeimas, poor sight, poor hearing to name a few.
Betty, one of the ladies who no longer attends the group had alkziemas. Each week she would be encouraged to come to the table to have a go at some crafting. Whilst she sat with the group she would constantly ask what she needed to do or where she needed to put something and I in turn would repeat instructions or show her repeatedly one stage of something we were making. At the end of each session she would pick up my sample and walk off with it, convinced that she had made it. As weeks went on, she started to make a connection with my face and a the pleasant experience, although she never remembered my name. It is important to never presume the capabilities of a person as they may just surprise you.
The group is something I enjoy doing and hope to continue for a little while yet. I have proved that it is sustainable and it is a useful resource for the centre. Each person that comes to the table, whether they craft or not goes away with a smile on their face.