Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Lessons in Reskilling

The idea behind the Reskilling group is that there are many things that are currently done for us in our industrialised world that we will have to learn to do again when oil starts becoming more scarce. So rather than waiting for the crunch point where we suddenly have to work out how to make ourselves clothes, soap, chairs etc a group of us decided we wanted to learn now.

This is the main 'transition' reason for the Reskilling group, but the other reasons are that making things is brilliant fun, you appreciate things so much more when you make them yourself and it's often much cheaper.

The Reskilling group has been a great, friendly and fun transition group. We have had trips to the weird and wonderful wood fair, learnt to make rag rugs, done loads of knitting, swapped lots of clothes and talked about all kinds of exciting skills. It has had quite a textiles theme recently as we had enthusiasm for it in the group and we were trying to run 'themed' groups of workshops and textiles was the one we decided to start with.

All of the reskillers tend to do crafty, producing kinds of things at home anyway, but it is much more fun (and easier) to do things together and learn from others.

Lesson 1 - One important thing that I have discovered from being part of the Reskilling group is that it is no use trying to organise things for other people. Do not try and guess what other people are interested in and organise something for them. It doesn't work. The thing to do is to organise something for yourself. If a few of you want to learn a certain skill or just want to make stuff (like jam) together, then if you organise it and invite others along it cannot fail! Why? Well because even if no-one else turns up you are going to enjoy yourselves and also putting your energy into things you are not enthusiastic about is tiring.

So there you go that is my skill suggestion for this month - learn the art of only organising things that you want to do whether anyone else comes or not!

So if anyone fancies making chutney soon I was going to give this new skill a go with some apple and chestnut chutney so any veterans/ enthusiasts that want to come and help then just let me know!

Photos: mending some clothes after a clothes swap (Helen), taking up some trousers (Elena), a rag bag made in a reskilling session and lots of preserves I have made recently.

1 comment:

  1. Totally agree with Lesson 1 Kerry. So when I actually get round to turning the bits of old wood in my garage into a hedgehog house (too late for this year) would you like to offer it as a chance for people to learn a few basic woodworking skills? I'm happy to provide tools and screws etc - maybe people can bring their own bits of recycled wood? Could do bat boxes as well - needs less wood but it must not be treated.

    If no one turns up, at least my resident hedgehog will be better housed next winter! There is scope for individual design - so it could be quite fun to see what people create out of discarded wood.