Coldwaltham crochet queen to teach skills at festival

Crochet queen Celia Dennis, 71, of Coldwaltham, has been chosen to be one of her the 'GrandMakers' at the Royal Voluntary Service's (RVS) GrandFest on Saturday (June 13) - picture submitted
Crochet queen Celia Dennis, 71, of Coldwaltham, has been chosen to be one of her the 'GrandMakers' at the Royal Voluntary Service's (RVS) GrandFest on Saturday (June 13) - picture submitted

A woman from Coldwaltham has been chosen to teach her crocheting skills at a festival celebrating traditional handicrafts on Saturday (June 13).

Celia Dennis, 71, will one of the ‘GrandMakers’ at the Royal Voluntary Service’s (RVS) GrandFest being held in London to celebrate the traditional skills older people possess.

She will be one of eight GrandMakers giving master classes in hobbies including crochet, preserve making, bread making and sequence dancing in museums, shops, cafes and bars in and around the creative hub of Hoxton, East London.

Celia has volunteered with RVS for 18 months, working with the Good Neighbours Scheme since she retired from the health service.

As a child, she remembers her mother knitting while watching Wimbledon and this first sparked her interest in crafts.

It was her grandmother who inspired her to try crochet and she would sit on her knee while making decorative table mats.

From there, she experimented with making clothes and now regularly makes gifts for family and friends such as babies’ shawls, christening gowns and cardigans.

Celia believes crochet is a great way to relax and switch off while creating something beautiful that gives a sense of achievement and pride.

She was pleased to be chosen for the festival.

She said: “Come along to my Masterclass where you can join in as I show you how to do basic crochet stitches that will give you the confidence and skills to tackle your own projects at home.

“Creating your own clothes or accessories mean you can choose the colours, styles and shapes that suit you rather than having to wear what fashion tells you to wear and a sense of achievement.”

David McCullough, chief executive of the RVS, said: “We are delighted that Celia will be passing on her skill of crocheting at GrandFest.

“She gives a great deal of her time as a volunteer to the Royal Voluntary Service and we are proud to now add ‘GrandMaker’ to her title!”

Royal Voluntary Service, formerly the Women’s Royal Voluntary Service, supports more than 100,000 older people each month to stay independent in their own homes for longer with tailor made solutions.

Through its army of 36,000 volunteers, the charity runs services such as Good Neighbours (companionship), Meals-on-Wheels and Books-on-Wheels that help alleviate loneliness and help older people.

The service also provides practical support for older people who have been in hospital through its On Ward Befriending and Home from Hospital services.

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