Life and Loom is a social enterprise and home to a collective of makers with additional needs, for example disability, learning disability/difficulty or long-term health condition.
At Life and Loom we strive to integrate education, care, hand-craft, meaningful work and therapy to create a holistic response to the needs of the individual.
Trainee placements can be funded through an individual's social care personal budget or direct payment. If you don't have a personal budget or direct payment, funding may be available depending on your age and circumstance. Alternatively, you can self-fund.
Our studio is a healing arts space and meaningful work environment where individuals collaborate in the designing and making of craft pieces which are then developed into creative products to sell. Trainees can take home up to 70% of the sales revenue of their handmade product. By being part of a social enterprise and engaging in hand craft, people can learn transferable work and life skills as well as academic and functional skills; and through this process they can learn to value themselves.
We work with the belief that the transforming of raw materials such as wool into useful objects can have a profound impact on the development of the person as a whole. In our studio we use natural materials and shape them by hand into artisan products through a variety of traditional methods; for example, carding, spinning, dying, weaving, felting and sewing. Our approach incorporates working with sheep on local farms and selling the finished products from our market stall.
We adopt a unique approach, which reflects the insights of the Ruskin Mill Trust. We work with hand, head, heart and place to provide people with the tools required to transform material and in doing so transform themselves. In this way people come to recognise themselves and others; they develop self- and social awareness and are empowered to achieve and make a positive contribution to society.
We are much more than a textile studio. We are a place where all people can enjoy their own creative nature, regardless of previous experience or perceived artistic ability. Each person can bring their own ideas, personality, hopes, choices, rhythm and preferences to the process so that every fabric produced is completely unique. The textile then in turn reflects the experience and state of mind of the individual, just as they are in that moment. Each fabric produced beholds an individual dignity which reflects the dignity of the individual.
We use hand craft to enable growth in three areas; Personal Growth, Becoming Skilled and Community Relationships. Examples in each of these three areas may include;
- Personal Growth – well-being, self-management, self-expression, self esteem, identity, aspiration, motivation and confidence
- Becoming Skilled – learning new skills, reading and writing, workplace skills, application of ICT, initiative and enterprise, application of numeracy, problem solving and business and customer awareness
- Community Relationships – friends and relationships, contributing and making a difference, respecting others, social responsibility, celebration, communication and social skills, teamwork and co-operating and managing conflict.
"Life and Loom has helped improve my confidence and learn new skills. I also have made some good friends there, especially Fynn and Alix. I am really happy here and and look forward to coming. I feel at home here and part of the team. It has given me pride in being able to give handmade presents to my family and seeing their joyful reaction. I am also very pleased to hear that my bag has been admired online by a french fashion designer. It gave me enormous pride." - Trainee