A keen crafter whose involvement in a creative support group helped her through cancer treatment is encouraging others to join free wellbeing sessions in County Durham.
Seventy-year-old Maureen Dodsworth has been attending the Wingate Library Craft Group for a number of years. She initially joined hoping to meet new people and to help them improve their crafts skills.
Sharing her passion for her hobbies gave Maureen a new purpose in life and helped her to make lots of new friends. It also helped her cope when she was undergoing treatment for cancer and now she’s urging others to try a wellbeing session.
Maureen’s craft group is part of Durham County Council’s Ways to Wellbeing programme which offers fun and relaxing activities across the county to help adults improve their health and mental wellbeing.
The service’s new autumn programme launches on Thursday 10 October, to coincide with World Mental Health Day, and features a wide range of free activities from weekly exercise classes and cycle rides to singing and reading groups. The sessions are a great way to meet new people, get more active and learn new skills.
Maureen said: “I like being around others sharing time, thoughts, and interests. The craft group has been a great way for me to socialise and I’ve made some fantastic friends.
“When I was diagnosed with cancer, I found it extremely difficult at times, especially when I was going through treatment. Going to the craft sessions and surrounding myself with friends and familiar faces gave me strength and motivation. Reconnecting with other like-minded people simply makes you feel better.
“These sessions give you purpose, a reason to get up and get on with things. It becomes important to you because it’s important to others. I love it here, here I am amongst friends. Where else would I want to be?”
Maureen is now feeling enthusiastic about life and regularly assists with organising social events for the group and, with their help, supports charities that are close to her heart.
A number of Get Creative sessions, similar to the Wingate Library Craft Group, feature in the new Ways to Wellbeing programme.
Visitors can join a professional artist every Thursday at:
- Easington Colliery Library from 10am to 11am
- Trimdon Library from 1pm to 2pm
- Esh Winning Library, with a session specifically for families, from 3.30pm to 4.30pm.
All materials are provided, no experience is necessary and there is no need to book.