An inside look into our Big C shop in Diss which not only has a variety of arts and crafts materials but also hosts plenty of workshops so you can meet new people, learn a new skill and get crafty!
Some people think that once you’ve been to one charity shop, you’ve been to them all.
However, at Big C we take pride in our charity shops – each one is different from the other, and an integral part of the local community.
For example, our Big C shop in Diss is a quirky place where crafty individuals can go to buy inexpensive, beautiful art materials.
Alongside this, the shop hosts a variety of workshops throughout the month so people in the local community can learn a new craft (or perfect one).
Some of the workshops include things such as origami, scrapbooking, needle felting, crochet and much more.
We recently attended the basket weaving workshop to find out more about this unique Big C shop.
“Coming together with others to learn a new craft is therapeutic. You can talk to the people with similar interests and bounce off ideas with each other. Although you’re working on creating the same thing, everyone ends up making something really different.”
Upon entering the Big C shop in Diss, you would think it is just like any other charity shop. It has shelves full of neatly organised bric-a-brac, gently used clothing, interesting finds and more.
However, once you head up the stairs, you’ll see this shop is much more – it’s also an artistic hub.
Every month, the shop hosts a variety of workshops in the upstairs space – from patchwork designs to needlecase work – this shop has a workshop to suit everyone’s interest.
On Friday 17 January the planned workshop for the day was basket weaving run by Maxine, who has been volunteering as a workshop leader and regular volunteer for Big C for over a year.
There were five participants who attended the basket weaving session, and included women of all ages and backgrounds, each keen to learn how to weave a basket.
Several rolls of yarn of all colours, shapes and designed were scattered all over the large table found in the workshop space, and even some of the materials used to make the baskets were taken from shop’s shelves – which are always full of materials old (gentled used or recycled) and new.
In one corner of the table, two women who arrived early chatted throughout the two-hour long meeting. For them, these workshops are a weekly catchup session where they get to be creative and catch up on each other’s lives.
For many, the workshops are a social event – a way to meet others or to meet up with friends and do something fun and interesting without spending a lot of money.
They are not strict – there is guidance from Maxine and the other teachers, but creativity is highly encouraged by all who attend.
In the basket weaving workshop, the participants used different base-materials to weave their baskets. Some used recycled cardboard, others use washed out yogurt containers.
Other used or recycled materials such as felt or fabric from the Big C shelves.
One participant remarked: “It just goes to show how a tiny little bit of something left over can be turned into something else. What you may not find useful, others will.”
The workshops runs for about two hours. During the basket weaving one, most participants made one basket, others made two.
Maxine proudly took photos of all of the finished baskets to later share on her social media. Each person made something intrinsically unique through using different yarns and strings, fabrics and techniques.
Before the end of the session, many of the women discussed when they’ll pop by for another workshop, and some other crafts they hope will become workshops in the future.
“It’s really nice to meet like-minded people. I really have enjoyed every workshop I’ve been too.”
For more information on the workshops available at our Big C shop in Diss, please visit the shop’s Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/BigCDiss/
Workshops cost a suggested donation of £5
Prior booking required – please call: 01379 658655