Peterborough man hopes to craft awareness of mental health issues

John Bloodworth,
John Bloodworth,

A Peterborough crafter is embarking on a 12-month challenge, to spread creativity across the nation and raise money for a charity which is close to his heart.

John Bloodworth, also known as ‘Gentleman Crafter’, has set off on a one-man tour of all 92 historic UK counties, crafting with communities along the way in a bid to raise £20,000 in aid of Mind, a UK-based registered mental health charity.

Sponsored by Peterborough’s Create and Craft TV, John will live and travel in a motorhome, visiting craft groups, organising workshops and sharing his crafting knowledge, all while promoting Mind.

John (42) has suffered periods of severe depression and anxiety disorder in his life and has found Mind to be a valuable resource in understanding his condition and finding ways to move forward in life.

He said: “A year ago I hit rock-bottom and suffered an extended period where my mental health difficulties began emerging as physical symptoms such as shaking, sweating and being short of breath. This was terrifying as I had never experienced this before. I didn’t open the curtains, I couldn’t answer the phone – I felt totally isolated and didn’t know what to do.

“Fortunately, I discovered the Mind website and was able to identify why this might be happening and different ways in which I could tackle these issues. I went to my doctor and, after a discussion about the options available, we agreed on a course of action. I was initially prescribed medication which would have the benefit of reducing my overall distress and thereby provide the space in which to seek further support from local talking therapy services. My recovery was then monitored by my GP who recommended adjustments as time progressed.”

John added: “I know from my own personal experience that crafting can be very therapeutic and lots of fun. I’m hoping this trip will promote the benefits of crafting, raise awareness of mental health and, in turn, raise valuable funds for Mind.”

Managing Director of Create and Craft TV, Tony Sheridan, said: “We are delighted to support John and encourage our crafting audience to get involved, take part, donate, follow John’s journey and help raise the profile of his adventure, because we all know crafting is good for the mind and soul.”

Vicky Urquhart, Community Fundraising Co-ordinator at Mind said: “I’d like to say a huge thank you to John for taking to the road for this amazing challenge and choosing to fundraise for Mind. We know that many people find craft activities to be great for their mental health, because it can be very therapeutic and rewarding.

“Not only will he be spreading his craft far and wide but money raised will fund our vital work including the Mind Infoline, our advice services and the campaigning Mind does to secure a better deal for the one in four of us who experience a mental health problem every year.”

Visit www.createandcraft.tv/allcountieschallenge to find out if John is stopping at a location near you, to sign up to workshops, make a donation to Mind or read more about John.

To find out more about Mind, visit www.mind.org.uk