Stirling Observer

Weaving their way in to a new experience


Stirling’s over 55s tried their hand at weaving for the first time last week at a fun, free workshop at The Thistles shopping centre.

The free weaving workshop was part of First Time for Everything, a programme designed by Royal Voluntary Service to support health and wellbeing, and supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

First Time for Everything gives people, particular­ly those that are older or less mobile, opportunit­ies to try new activities in their local community for free.

Looms and instructio­n were provided by Mairi Harper from Coorie Creative, a social enterprise led by artists and makers who teach hand weaving workshops and art and craft activities in the community.

The First Time for Everything programme launched in 2017. Since then, and thanks to support from RVS volunteers, more than 685 events have taken place across Great Britain. Over 9,900 people have come along to date to try new activities like yoga, paddle boarding and IT skills, British Sign Language, treetop trekking and pottery. According to a pre-pandemic participan­t survey, 93 per cent of respondent­s said they felt happier after attending a First Time for Everything event and 75 per cent felt more connected to their local community.

According to new research by the RVS and supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, three in ten people aged 55 and over responding in Scotland haven’t been able to do any of the things they enjoy doing during the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns. Half are looking forward to getting out and about and seeing people as restrictio­ns ease, and nearly one in seven (13 per cent) would like to try something new.

Andrea McFarlane attended the weaving workshop. She said: “It was wonderful to spend a couple of hours with like-minded folk and a great way to try out a new craft. It was the highlight of my week - not only will I continue with weaving but with telephone numbers and emails swapped, new friendship­s will be forged.”

Joanne Saunders, Royal Voluntary Service activity coordinato­r for Stirling, said: “It was wonderful to see so many people having a go at weaving excitement shone through and, when old enough, all are keen to apply for a Gliding Scholarshi­p where they will be trained to fly solo.” for the first time. Thanks to support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, we’ll be offering a wide range of exciting First Time for Everything activities each month at different locations around Stirling.”

For more informatio­n about First Time for Everything activities in Stirling, contact RVS activity coordinato­r Joanne Saunders, on tel: 07824 547865, email joanne.saunders@ royalvolun­taryservic­ To find out more about local volunteeri­ng opportunit­ies with RVS visit volunteeri­ng. royalvolun­taryservic­ uk/volunteeri­ng or follow Royal Voluntary Service on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @RoyalVolSe­rvice #MakeADiffe­rence

It was wonderful to see so many people having a go at weaving for the first time

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