Our brilliant Chatty Crafts, a bi-weekly craft drop-in for adults established as part of the Royal Exchange’s community programme Local Exchange in 2022, are now successful grant recipients of the One Manchester Community Fund.

Their generous donation of £10,000 will enable the programme to run for the next 18 months, giving participants further opportunities to chat, be creative and engage with their local community.  

Chatty Crafts aims to be a welcoming, safe space to all who attend, with one member commenting

“[My favourite part is] arriving. And then it feels like relief, it’s like a big hug. Sounds like a cliché that doesn’t it? But it feels like that when you arrive and you think – ahh, somewhere nice. And I like the people here.”  

Created by Royal Exchange Ambassadors for Beswick, Openshaw & Clayton and with in-kind space provided by Beswick Library, these hands-on sessions are run by Sam Edwards (aka Phoebe Foxtrot) and are completely free with crafts and refreshments provided. Currently running every other Thursday, this funding from One Manchester allows these sessions to continue whilst providing the opportunity for additional sessions over school holidays and group trips.  

These sessions are a real lifeline for participants, with one commenting

“I’m not really a crafty person. Honestly, honestly, I’m usually not. I’m really into it. And since coming here – it has helped me. I’ve made this group of friends, it has helped me and I really enjoy doing this and it’s time for me which I would never have had. Time for me to socialise a bit and get out the house.”