John Bloodworth, also known as ‘Gentleman Crafter’, has embarked on a motorhome tour of all 92 historic UK counties, crafting with communities along the way. The adventure is in a bid to raise £20,000 for Mind, a UK-based registered mental health charity. The motorhome he is living and travelling in is a 2011 Fiat Rigor Trimarano Sound. Extended – Fiat Ducato 2.3 TDi, 5-speed manual, front wheel drive and RHD. The 12-month challenge is to spread creativity across the nation and raise money for a charity which is close to his heart
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.
Commenting John said: “I camped once or twice as a boy and often roamed the Yorkshire moors on family holidays until my mid teens. After that – nothing until now. This is my first time using a motorhome and I have joined the Caravan Club and the Camping and Caravanning Club. Nothing like jumping in with both feet. 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. I am not sure that I would have done this without having first found Mind as I was too embarrassed to discuss it with anyone.”
Over a period of time, John reached a point where he could look back and understand what had happened to him and now he wants to reach out and help others.
John added: “I know from my own personal experience that crafting can be very therapeutic and lots of fun. I’m hoping this motorhome trip will promote the benefits of crafting, raise awareness of mental health and, in turn, raise valuable funds for Mind.”
John started his adventure when he departed from Create and Craft’s office in Peterborough at 2pm on Monday 25th April 2016, where he was bid au revoir, by former colleagues and supporters.
Vicky Urquhart, Community Fundraising Co-ordinator, at Mind says: “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.”