During lockdown last year the nation embraced all things crafting – and we fell back in love with knitting, and papier Mache. For those who were new to crafting, two mums from different ends of the country, Bronagh Daley, 43, in Leeds, and Maggie McWilliams, 44 in Turo, Cornwall came to the rescue with live videos sharing crafting ideas for children.
The two are on a mission to teach people across the nation to craft. They set up ‘Crafting J.O.Y with CAFOD’ – a monthly Facebook LIVE, which mums and dads can follow with their children to keep them entertained during the lockdown.
Maggie, mother of three, teacher and all-round creative, says it was her mum teaching her to craft as a child and her love for shows like Blue Peter, that sparked her passion for crafting.
“Crafting is one of my hobbies and I like to find time to be creative,” she explains. “When I was young Blue Peter was one of my favourite shows- and I was a Blue Peter competition winner too! My mum taught me lots of crafts when I was little, and now as an adult, I like to use crafting to relax at the end of the day.”
Maggie is both a Children’s Liturgy Volunteer at CAFOD and a history teacher in Cornwall, and her co-host Bronagh Daly is a CAFOD Community Participation Coordinator in Leeds.
The pilot episode of the new monthly show with a great crafting idea for children to join in with was launched LIVE on CAFOD’s regional Leeds Facebook page and reached nearly 1,000 viewers.
History teacher and part-time Crafter, Maggie jumped at the idea of a show around crafting and conversation. “Bronagh came up with the idea of the two of us crafting together… From the first conversation it was pretty clear we got on well and had similar ideas about making things and being proactive in trying to contribute to positive change.”
Sharing how the name for the show came about, Maggie explains, “The name is a description of what it is all about. The JOY bit is the essence of how to help children (especially) understand their faith. The Idea of always thinking about putting Jesus first, then Others, then Yourself. We knew that we wanted to be clear about what we were doing and the idea of crafting and sharing faith through CAFOD’s platform.”
In the first show, viewers were taught how to make floating prayers using colourful pieces of card, with Maggie reassuring Bronagh that her little imperfections made her crafting even more special, whilst the two chatted about real-life topics, such as the hurly-burly of parenting. Maggie wants the show to be relatable to parents.
“We are sharing things about ourselves and our families in a realistic way. There is no plan to gloss anything, (and this is what every mother needs). The challenges and fun we experience in our family lives are laid bare in each episode, and this will hopefully be a tonic in a world where so much is glossed over,” says Maggie.