After a tip-off from a well-known local, the Tamar Valley News visited the ladies at Exeter 3C Group at Exeter Uniting Church who were celebrating their 20-year anniversary on the day.
‘We are called Exeter 3C’s which stands for craft, company and conversation, but there’s a lot of coffee, chatting and laughter in between!’ Said long term member and talented artist Susan Reeve.
Exeter 3C Group are a craft group meeting at the Uniting Church in Exeter each Tuesday morning for crafts such as card making and working on unfinished crafts.
‘We do a lot of card making basically, mostly for personal use, families, friends etc…any excuse to make a nice card.’ Susan added.
Their 20-year anniversary is quite a milestone ‘we started with about 7 or 8 people and have grown over the years.’ Said club President Lorraine Porter.
Lorraine added that any local ladies interested can ‘just turn up and they would be made to feel most welcome. The ladies will often bring a friend along to see if they would like to join the group.’
‘Over the years, even though we are only a small club, a past member got us having the biggest morning tea. A good few years ago we started raising funds for cancer. Just this last year instead of doing it through the Cancer Council we’ve done it through the Holman Clinic, it’s surprising the amount of money we can raise on the day that we have our morning tea.’ Said Susan.
Lorraine added ‘When Prince William and Kate were married, we sent a special card from the group, signed it, and sent a photograph of our group and they acknowledged it, which we had framed. We acknowledged Prince George when he was born, and Princess Charlotte and we received thanks for that. We didn’t expect that, and the postie got quite a kick out of delivering the mail!’
The cards are homemade, made from the heart, and personalised accordingly.
But first and foremost, the group is about community and friendship. ‘We consider our friendships to be long lasting, and we watch out for one another, if someone’s not here, perhaps give them a ring.’ Said Lorraine.
The ladies are great to have a laugh with too! When I told them I thought 3C Group was some kind of secret society the laughter began with Susan joking ‘what happens in the group, stays in the group!’
All jokes aside though, this is more than just a group to make beautiful cards and the like, with one of the ladies sharing a heart-warming story about an inaugural member who truly cherished the group and looked forward to attending each Tuesday morning. ‘There would always be hot scones, birthday cakes, it gave her a reason to get up in the morning she said.’
I asked Lorraine if potential new visitors needed to bring their own art and craft equipment? ‘Not to start with, we can accommodate them if they just want to come along and see what’s happening.’
With the UK now holding the position, Ministry for Loneliness (it is reported that approximately 9 million Britons suffer from loneliness) no doubt groups like Exeter 3C are becoming more and more valuable in our society.
Here’s to 20 more years of craft, company, and conversation at Exeter 3C Group.
For more information, please feel free to attend each Tuesday morning from 10am at the Uniting Church in Exeter or call (03) 6394 4817.