It is down to our partners, such as the Quaker Housing Trust, that helps us to ensure that people across the North East have a safe place to call home and empower them to turn their lives around.
Dan Northover, Handcrafted Projects
People who have suffered homelessness, addiction, mental health issues, unemployment and have a history of offending often struggle to engage with conventional avenues of support - even though they genuinely want to turn their lives around and be active, contributing members of the community
Handcrafted Projects works to encourage people to work together to gain skills, training and experience through their enterprising projects and work placements. They wanted to extend this approach by providing their clients with the opportunity to create homes for themselves by working together to upgrade run-down properties. This would give them pride and a feeling of ownership whilst enabling them to learn practical skills for work or maintaining their own homes in the future.
In bringing old properties up to modern standards they also help support regeneration of towns that have suffered economically over the past decades.
In 2018, QHT awarded Handcrafted Projects an interest-free loan and grant to purchase a property in need of renovation in County Durham.
In September 2019, the renovation of the property was complete with new flooring, kitchen, and bathroom. A week later the first trainee was able to move into a fully furnished house and get the support she needed to turn her life around.
In September 2020, Handcrafted Projects came back to us for further funding to buy another property. We are pleased to say we are supporting them again as they continue with their excellent work.
This project appealed to us as it worked at many levels. Handcrafted provide support, training, and in some cases homes, for people with multiple and complex needs. Our support enabled Handcrafted Projects to purchase and renovate their first owned property rather than continuing to rely solely on short-lease properties. We are pleased that we have recently been able to offer support again, this time to their project in Gateshead.
Malcolm Bowker Trustee-in-Touch
“Before I came to Handcrafted I was going through a lot of mental health problems. It was quite bad. I was self-harming a lot and sometimes going quite deep. At one point, it got so bad that I nearly died.
When I started going to Handcrafted, my life got a lot better. When I first started coming quite quickly the staff realised that the place I was living wasn’t too good for me. So they stepped in and moved me to a Handcrafted house. They supported me really well and helped me move on with my life. I stopped self-harming as much, which was a massive step for me. My mental health started to improve. I’m learning how to deal with my mental health and the support Handcrafted gives is really great for that. Living in a Handcrafted house has given me a chance to improve, and I just want to keep getting better.”
Chris: a client’s story
“QHT has helped us at Handcrafted expand our supported housing project and help even more people like Chris. In 2020, this project received the ‘Social Enterprise of the Year’ award at the Homeless Link Excellence Awards. It is down to our partners, such as the Quaker Housing Trust, that make this work possible. All of this helps us to ensure that people across the North East have a safe place to call home and empower them to turn their lives around.”
Dan Northover, Handcrafted Projects