Creative Spaces

Why is regular creativity so good for our wellbeing?

Last term we gathered a committed team of knitters and crochet-ers and began the task of knitting miniature hats to raise money for AgeUK through Innocent Smoothies. In just three months, we’ve now collected over 100 little hats, and our team are still going! Ranging from beginner to expert level, we’ve had a fantastic group of talented students and staff involved. A huge thank you to our fantastic team who have got us to this point.

The ongoing project has shone a spotlight on what creative activity can really do for our mental wellbeing. With a weekly session booked in, we were all forced to set aside those two hours on a Friday (as a minimum) to do something creative. Our students are (crochet) hooked, and use the session to unwind, to chat, or to sit quietly themselves and make hats. We’ve started sharing our other projects with the group, learning new techniques from eachother, and working through any difficulties in our project with help from everyone else. One of our regular PGR students has mentioned they’ve come in feeling totally overwhelmed, and left two hours later feeling more at peace. This is the purpose of our sessions – we’re hoping to give students a space on campus every week that they can remove themselves from their busy timetables.

This isn’t the first time knitting and crochet has been used at the university to improve wellbeing – take a look at this fantastic blog, Knitting Out The Knots, which was a project created by the School of English staff a few years ago. In fact, it was coming across all the yarn left over in the School of English staff room in September 2021 that inspired our Creative Spaces project. I am delighted to have picked up the crochet needle-shaped baton and to continue encouraging students and staff alike to take part in this activity again now, after an extremely difficult 2 years.

The deadline for these hats to be sent over to Innocent is June 2022, so if you’d like to contribute a hat or two, you can do so either in our weekly Creative Spaces sessions on a Friday 2-4pm in CNWsr8, or you can do it in your own time and drop it off with us in Rutherford Extension NC14/16!