The All Counties Craft Challenge comes to a Successful Conclusion

You may remember that last year I talked about John Bloodworth who was participating in his “All Counties Craft Challenge.” Well, this April he has completed it. He has done amazingly well. He has raised over and above the £20,000 goal all in aid of Mind, the Mental Health Charity and at the same time he has raised awareness of Mental Health issues wherever he has gone. You can read all the back issues of John’s blog here and hear first hand about his epic adventure.

An instantly recognisable presence

I have been following his progress for many months (well a year I guess) and hearing all the wonderful stories of what he has been getting up to in Maisie the Campervan. I must admit I feel quite sad wondering what will happen to Maisie now, surely she will not be stripped down and de-branded? She really took on a personality of her own in John’s stories and there was nearly always a photo of her at every venue John went to. The moment I spotted her at Doncaster she was immediately recognisable. Is it wrong that I think like that about a vehicle?

A massive undertaking

Whilst we were appreciating the stories John was sharing with us and all the many people who have attended his workshops throughout the British Isles have learnt a myriad of new crafting techniques.  John has been living this journey, he has been driving thousands of miles around the country. Sleeping in Maisie whatever the weather and wherever the location. Yes, he has spent nights in beautiful, enviable scenery but also in deserted Service Station Lorry Parks.  He has spent freezing winter nights where he has told us of the number of layers he has needed to keep warm.

Congratulations John, I and so many others applaud you, I hope this epic year has helped you battle your own depression and anxiety and you have come out of the other side happier and healthier. Good luck as you start your new adventure living in Scotland. I hope we see you on the telly box again soon!

How The All Counties Craft Challenge Began

This week I have been really inspired by John Bloodworth. If you are familiar with Create and Craft TV you may already be aware of John and his fantastic journey, if not let me fill you in here.
John has embarked upon an “All Counties Craft Challenge” this involves him organising and taking part in crafting events in all the 92 historic Counties of the United Kingdon. He has already done a stint in West Yorkshire where I am based and in fact, I got to meet him during my fantastic trip to the Doncaster Crafting Live event. The thing that most impressed me about John was his lovely, warm, down to earth nature. Not unlike Hayley who provided last week’s inspiration.  I am starting to spot a pattern here.

The appeal of Crafting for those with Health Issues

Crafting is a wonderful hobby for anyone but for people with health issues and disabilities it seems to be a very popular choice, this is one of the reasons I was determined not to let my crafting have to stop when I began dealing with the symptoms of Fibromyalgia. It is hard to explain to someone who has never participated in any creative project but crafting an item gives you a focus, that is why craft is so good for mindfulness. There are also many wonderfully supportive crafting groups on Facebook. I belong to groups for fans of products by particular manufacturers as well as general groups for people who enjoy a wide range of crafts as well as Papercrafts which are my main source of creativity.

Why John Undertook this Journey

John has made it no secret that he has had to deal with mental health issues and this is the reason his Craft Challenge is raising money for Mind. Imagining his journey two things come to mind, the wonderful adventure of being able to tour the whole country and meet so many people with shared interests but secondly the experience of spending quite a lot of the transitional time alone and in strange places. I think this is very courageous, especially for someone who has suffered from Depression, Anxiety and Mental health problems so recently.

Dealing with the Practicalities

When I spoke to John at Crafting Live in Doncaster it was interesting hearing about the day to day practicalities of living in “Masie” the campervan he is calling home for the year, things like organising laundry but more to the point looking at the photos of his crafting space I am amazed so see how well he is managing. I have over 4 metres of storage with my craft desk and I am struggling for space.

I would like to encourage anyone who is able to, to go to John’s Just Giving Page and make a donation or if you are unable to then to help spread the word so that others may be able to contribute.

Good luck on the next legs of your journey John and we look forward to your next visit to Yorkshire.

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