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Volunteer Week 

We thought we’d share some of the wonderful work going on with our service users and families.


Tutor Sophie Francis led a willow weaving workshop at the Community Hub on Mardol with a group of 18 participants. Everyone got the chance to prepare and weave coloured willow rods for baskets and decorative artwork.


There was a real sense of achievement and wellbeing as colourful patterns were gradually developed using different shades of willow rods to create unique woven flowers -for a display at Theatre Severn (top floor exhibition gallery) as part of a collaborative exhibition with Hive Shrewsbury on the theme of ‘Home’.


Stanislav Kudym, Community Hub Supervisor (Shropshire Supports Refugees), said: “The atmosphere was so relaxing that every single person enjoyed it deeply and already say they can't wait to do the next session.”




There were 13 international children and adults, four volunteers, and a tutor. One of the Ukrainian-speaking service users who participated in the workshop and runs the ESOL class at the Hub kindly helped with translation.

Katya chose her special pieces of willow and helped her mother thread the long rods into their intricate design.


They discussed the language and special craft terms which might now inspire the group to dance a "Strip the Willow" at the next workshop.


Participants were encouraged to have a go at willow weaving, following Sophie's clear instructions and a practical demonstration spoken in English, translated as necessary.


“Sophie managed to keep everyone busy while patiently sorting out broken rods, tying off loose ends before the weaving went wonky, and inspiring us to make the individual designs we all achieved! It was a creative, unique & relaxing experience for all.”

Pictures were also shared of the special Easter "Pasca" baskets made in Ukraine to hold beautifully decorated eggs.


Stanislav added: “It was an afternoon of fun and creative activity, learning skills that are shared around the world. So much tension and worry were released as we sat, absorbed in our weaving and helping each other to bend and tie the rods, while exchanging ideas and shared understanding. It was a lovely way to promote well-being for all.”

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