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Craft workshops to raise mental health cash

| Written by Chris Cope

The Gentleman Crafter - aka John Bloodworth - will be in Shetland at the weekend as part of a nationwide fundraising challenge. The Gentleman Crafter - aka John Bloodworth - will be in Shetland at the weekend as part of a nationwide fundraising challenge. A CRAFT enthusiast and former TV presenter is due to visit Shetland this weekend as part of a fundraising challenge to hold workshops in every corner of the country.

John Bloodworth, who is also known as the Gentleman Crafter, will teach groups of ten how to make a "fully functioning mixed media clock" at the Tingwall Hall on Saturday and Sunday.

However, the afternoons will also be used to raise awareness of how creative hobbies can benefit people's mental health.

It is part of his All Counties Craft Challenge, which sees the Englishman attempt to hold craft workshops in every county in the UK while raising money for mental health charity Mind.

Bloodworth used to work as a producer and on-air demonstrator for digital channel Create and Craft TV and his passion for creativity has been evident his whole life.

His 12-month challenge is due to end in a few weeks and he has already raised over £20,000.

"Shetland is the location that I have been most looking forward to throughout the last eleven months - I can't wait," Bloodworth said.

"On the creative side, the workshops will highlight different techniques in decorative mixed media in order to create a fully functioning clock face. It's fun, creative and a little messy and everyone will go home with something totally unique.

"In terms of the purpose behind the challenge, it is also a chance for me to share my thoughts on how creative hobbies are very focusing and can help those living with a mental health issue and get people talking about mental health in general."

Bloodworth has previously battled his own mental health problems and he wanted to find a way to repay the support given to him by Mind.

The charity first launched in 1946 as the National Association for Mental Health and it has since given information and advice to the public, as well as lobbying government and local authorities.

"It is fair to say that my own life has been turned upside down by mental health issues in recent years, with severe depression and general anxiety disorder making day-to-day life a genuine struggle, but Mind were there for me and have been an outstanding resource and support mechanism through it all," Bloodworth said.

"Through my work and my blog I have also heard many similar stories from individuals around the country. I am therefore doing this challenge in order to give something back and to help Mind help others who have been affected by similar issues.

"As an added bonus I would also hope to be able to share the calming, focusing and ultimately beneficial properties of a creative hobby along the way."

The Tingwall workshops cost £30 and can be booked online here.

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