So, yesterday saw the welcome home celebration that marked the end of the All Counties Craft Challenge for Maisy and myself but what of the challenge; did we succeed?
When Maisy and I first set out on this challenge we had two specific goals in mind.
- Raise much needed awareness of, and funds for, Mind – the mental health charity.
- Promote mindfulness through creativity.
This was to be done through travelling the country and hosting workshops in as many of the 92 historic counties as possible.
Sounds like a simple enough thing to do, right?
If you have followed the diary posts you will know that at times it was not the easiest of tasks, especially given that I was doing all of this after suffering a breakdown and whilst living with subsequent depression and anxiety myself; key reasons why I chose to do the challenge in the first place.
There were some major highs in all forms; people, places, events.
There were some definite lows; the suicide of a friend, mood dips and panic attacks.
So, was it all worth it?
The challenge, in raising over £22,000 for the charity, has also been able to get mental health and mindfulness talked about in a large number of print and online publications with total circulation reaching into the 100s of 1000s and has also been featured on several regional BBC radio stations with similar coverage.
That is a lot of people talking about a subject that all to often can be swept under the carpet.
Goal 1 accomplished!
1000’s of you chose to attend a workshop or grab yourself an official Create and Craft TV All Counties Craft Challenge postcard colouring book and get colouring in order to be more mindful.
Goal 2 accomplished!
Did we hit all 92 counties? No. What we did do though is create and attend 92 events around the country from as far south as Cornwall all the way up to the Shetland islands and from Northern Ireland to the eastern counties, covering a total of 25,000+ miles around the entire United Kingdom. I’d say that was a good trade off, wouldn’t you … ?
The star of the event has really been Maisy the motorhome. She has been my home and the one to lug me and my craft stash around those 25,000+ miles and been parked up in the most unusual places.
From when we first met …
… through her makeover and official reveal …
… to her final day of workshops …
She has been pap-snapped in car parks, laybys and motorway services and whenever she is spotted people have stopped and talked.
It was fitting therefore that she should be the centre of attention during the recent welcome home celebrations that were held at the Create and Craft TV studios in Peterborough.
Driving her back into the car park and seeing the crowd was a little daunting.
The rest of the day was great as I also got to meet the fundraising coordinators from Mind that had helped with collection pots, banking and all of the legal aspects behind the challenge – and hand over a GIANT cheque :)
All too soon it was time to grab my suitcase and head off up to my new home in Scotland and say au revoir to Peterborough.
Whilst the challenge has officially ended you can still make a contribution and help someone else who is going through a difficult time.
All donations from both of these methods will go directly to Mind.
Many thanks to EVERYONE that chose to take part in whatever way – you are the reason that I kept going through the challenge, and the reason that I have the chance for a new start.