A Genuine Jersey member has been making Remembrance poppies with a difference. Crafted on the island from felted wool, the bright red blooms are a special tribute to the service men and women around the world we think of on Remembrance Sunday.
Cathryn Ward makes the poppies during a series of workshops at local primary schools where she shows the pupils how to make their own poppy, which they can then wear on Remembrance Sunday. This year Cathryn hosted workshops at Trinity School and Victoria College, however, she plans to roll out the project to more schools next year.
She said: “I am a firm believer in the benefits of these workshops in schools as I think it is so important for children's development to have a creative outlet and to have some fun amongst all the learning.
“There are many benefits to arts and crafts including bilateral and fine motor coordination and teaching them self regulation and challenging them in a fun way where there is no right or wrong way. I think this is great self esteem booster!
“The children and adults always have fun on these workshops, which are also a good bonding exercise. Felting is an old craft many people have forgotten about so this is a good way to reintroduce it and pass on the skills to a younger generation. And of course everyone can wear their lovely bright poppies afterwards with such pride.”
Cathryn, who runs Skaapie, began making handmade toys from felt over seven years ago while living in South Africa. The name Skaapie means ‘little sheep’ in Africaans, which reflects the nature of Cathryn’s products – everything is handmade from wool, mostly merino.
John Garton, Chief Executive, Genuine Jersey Product Association, said: “The workshops are an excellent way of teaching school children an enjoyable craft, while creating a wearable item from scratch like this also helps improve awareness of how products can be made locally.”
The handmade poppies are available from Cathryn at http://myskaapie.co.uk and are also on sale this Sunday 13 November at the Christmas PTA sale, Mont a l’Abbe School from 11am-3pm. Cathryn will be donating 10% from all poppy sales on the day to the Royal British Legion.