Handcrafted is a community organisation that began when a group of individuals from local churches in Durham decided to do more for people living on the streets. They wanted to see isolated people connected and those who had lost confidence to reconnect with a future of real and tangible possibility. Handcrafted believes that every human is of equal worth and is worthy of forgiveness, love, restoration, and community.
The organisation's key features include providing tailored training opportunities and creative activities to enable every individual to achieve their goals, helping disadvantaged people find their ideal job or start their own enterprises, and providing housing and holistic support that engages with individuals' whole lives to help them build healthy coping strategies. Handcrafted welcomes everyone into their community, regardless of background. From small beginnings with one small workshop, they have now got three main creative hubs in Durham, Chester-le-Street, and Gateshead where individuals can come and see their lives transformed.
Handcrafted aims to empower those who have been disadvantaged or faced social exclusion due to crime, alcohol or substance abuse, poor mental or physical health, unemployment, or having experienced abuse or been in the care system. The organisation works with individuals to help them make positive steps to turn their lives around, be part of a community and start to give back. Handcrafted's support is tailored to each individual's specific needs, working alongside them to help them identify and take steps which move them towards transforming their own lives.
Through their creative hubs and houses, Handcrafted has seen many lives impacted for the better. Their service users and residents have grown in confidence as they have found a place of real community and security. There are too many stories to tell that demonstrate the impact Handcrafted has had. Ben's story is so typical of the testimonies that come out from those that engage in their services; he said,
"Handcrafted has really changed my life in the here and now. It gets me out of the house, I'm meeting friendly people,..., I'm learning new skills - not just practical - but also helping me deal with my social anxiety."
Find out more about the amazing work of Handcrafted at handcrafted.org.uk