Recently I have been asked to bring my needle felt workshop to therapeutic settings. Last week I was with older people attending Ruschcliffe Day Centre, where we made mushrooms. To oldest participant was 95, and was enthusiastic in embracing a new craft, which was very inspiring. Earlier in the year I worked with Framework, with a group of people with mental health challenges. Everyone managed to produce a piece they were happy with.
I have been struck by the therapeutic benefit of needle felting. The process of felting requires focus and concentration, so it has an inbuilt meditative quality. This tends to bring a peaceful, calming atmosphere to the group as they work. It is a none threatening way to be with other people; you are together with other people, and feeling the support of the group, but with no pressure to talk or interact unless you choose to. The quality of wool is that it is tactile and soft, with a comforting smell, whilst the colours of the wool are vibrant and uplifting.
Helping people to express their creativity is by itself beneficial. The beauty of needle felting is that it is a simple technique, and most people can achieve a result quite easily.
I hope to be exploring other groups that might benefit from participating in a workshop. Please get in touch if you would like to find out more.