Skip to main content

Craft group celebrates 20 years of fundraising!

Thursday 29th April

  • Fundraising & Events
  • Stories
  • News
  • Press Releases

A group of local crafters are celebrating their 20th anniversary – raising approximately £100,000 during this time.

The Farleigh Hospice Tiptree craft group turned 20 in early April, and held a special meeting to mark the occasion on Monday 12 April. The celebration was a virtual one due to coronavirus pandemic restrictions. Members of the Tiptree group were joined by Farleigh’s Chief Executive Alison Stevens, Commercial Director, Pauline Harvey-Jones and Digital Fundraising Officer Caroline Smith.

The resilient crafters haven’t let the pandemic get in the way of their endeavours and have continued to meet via zoom every month. The group makes everything from toys and baby clothes, to adult sized jumpers, hats, gloves and scarves which they sell in aid of Farleigh Hospice at local events.

Sheila Gunson, Tiptree group leader and founder of the Farleigh Hospice craft group said: “We wanted to mark the occasion despite the current restrictions by having a virtual celebration. We haven’t let the coronavirus pandemic prevent us from fundraising - I’m a WI lady, nothing stops me! The current situation hasn’t hindered our crafting or prevented us from booking in events for when restrictions are lifted. I hope that when we can all meet again in person; all four Farleigh craft groups can get together for a lovely lunch as a belated anniversary celebration!”

Tiptree group member Pauline Swindle said: “Being in the craft group is such a valuable experience. You come away from meetings feeling like you’ve spent time with good friends. In addition to the crafting, there’s lots of conversation and laugher. I’d like to say a big thank you to Sheila Gunson for leading our group for the last 20 years. She does so much for us and does a fantastic job of organising our meetings and events. She has even become our ‘fabric fairy’ during the pandemic - sourcing material and delivering it to our doorsteps during each of the lockdowns.”

In 2019 the four craft groups: Braintree; Witham; Chelmsford and Tiptree raised a grand total of £16,378 for the hospice. In the 20 years the groups have been running, it is estimated that all four groups combined, have raised more than £300,000 for Farleigh Hospice.

The crafters have been very busy during the last year and have plenty to sell as lockdown easing guidelines permit. Details of forthcoming sales events will be shared via local Facebook groups as well as with posters displayed locally.

Farleigh Hospice Commercial Director, Pauline Harvey-Jones said: “We are so thankful for our Farleigh Hospice crafters. They do such a wonderful job of fundraising for us. They are very talented, creating wonderful items to sell in order to raise money. Their efforts help us to continue to provide vital care and support to those affected by life-limiting illness in mid-Essex. We are incredibly grateful for all of the time and support they have given over the last 20 years, and we wish them a very happy anniversary. We hope to be able to join them in their in-person celebrations later in the year.”

Group members are a variety of ages and craft specialisms. Anyone can join the Farleigh Hospice craft groups - all ages, genders and crafting abilities are welcome. To find out more about joining a Farleigh Hospice craft group contact the Farleigh Hospice fundraising team on 01245 457411 or email