The Crafty Hens of Richhill
Published: Tue, 26 Jul 2016
The members of the only known Hens’ Shed in the British Isles intend to celebrate August Craft Month 2016 in style.
The Richhill Hens’ Shed is the ‘women only’ equivalent of a Men’s Shed which offers the members a space to feel at home, chat, socialise and pursue an interest in crafts. We were delighted to invest in the group, helping them purchase essential equipment, from which they are producing the range of exciting crafts.
The largest celebration of contemporary craft in Northern Ireland - Craft Month NI - is providing a terrific platform for the Richhill based group to highlight the skills they’ve developed in plate decorating, knitting, crochet, sewing, glass decoration, decoupage, paper art and card making.
On 6 August 2016 the Hens are hosting a craft fair in Colthurst Hall (Church of Ireland, Richhill) from 10 am until 4pm at which they will have their own stall as well as 16 other exhibitors selling jewellery, woodturning, paper-craft, accessories etc. Entrance is free and morning coffee or afternoon tea will be available.
This is the first craft fair the Richhill Hens Shed has organised. Previously the group sold the items produced on an ad hoc basis through a pop-up shop in the office, at local craft fairs which they attended and via social media. But as they aim for greater self-sustainability, developing the social enterprise element, they have branched out to hosting the fair and spreading the word about their shop.
The group has expanded and recently moved to two industrial units on the Portadown Road which offers accessible ground floor accommodation and the all-important car-parking. They share the two units with the Richhill Men’s Shed and work closely with its members who create wooden pieces for sale (eg benches) which the Hens paint and decorate.
Denise McNally, our Area Manager, commented:
“The Hens’ Shed is a super project which underlines the Housing Executive’s goal of making a difference as we help to foster vibrant communities. I was pleased our Community Cohesion team invested in the Hens’ Shed as the equipment is clearly helping them expand and grow both commercially and socially.”
Shirley Agnew from the Hens’ Shed said:
“We are pleased to be taking part in the 10th anniversary of Craft NI’s Craft Month. It’s a super focus for the Hens and a chance for them to showcase their skills in the different crafts. The funding we received from the Housing Executive was a much needed boost - it meant the Hens’ Shed really got off the ground and provided a much needed social outlet for those who come along each week.”
One of the "Hens" said:
"Attending the shed has given me a new outlook on life, before joining the group I was feeling isolated and rarely left the house. The shed has given me the chance to meet new friends. I feel more confident and this has increased my own self value. It is great craic and there is always opportunity to learn something new and everyone is so helpful and supportive."
The group meets every Wednesday from 7pm at their premises (Units 1 & 2 163a Portadown Road, Richhill) and new members would be warmly welcomed.