Wartime ethos of make-do-and-mend is being revived in Suffolk

Greeniversity is starting a new knitting class, the Sudbury branch is one of only a handful across t

Greeniversity is starting a new knitting class, the Sudbury branch is one of only a handful across the country of the Greeniverity teaching people green skills. Left to right, Laura Laurence and Joanne Main. - Credit: Archant

Young people are keen to learn skills that were popular during the ‘make-do-and-mend’ era following the Second World War, a new survey has revealed.

The study by the Royal Voluntary Service showed that up to 80 per cent of respondents under the age of 25 would like to learn a new craft such as knitting, growing vegetables or brewing beer.

The results of the survey were released ahead of the charity’s one-day GrandFest event which will take place this June in London with the aim of encouraging older people to share their skills with a new generation.

According to the survey results, 22% of youngsters would like to learn to cook, 19% want to be able to bake and 18% yearn to knit.

These figures have been echoed in west Suffolk where the Transition Sudbury & District group offers free ‘greeniversity’ workshops in a wide range of make-do-and-mend skills.

The classes are delivered free of charge by people with the skills and a few hours to spare.

Group member Lesley Ford-Platt said in the current modern era of austerity the courses were proving extremely popular.

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She said: “Our classes including skills such as vegetable growing and composting are going brilliantly well. They give people a chance to try a new skill free of charge to see if they want to pursue it further. We constantly have to repeat the bread-making course because it is oversubscribed and we are now offering basic cookery skills focussing on how to make low-cost meals.

“The chicken keeping course that we ran recently was also oversubscribed so we will definitely be running that again.”

Mrs Ford-Platt said they had received numerous requests for classes in basic DIY skills.

Anyone who can help deliver the courses is asked to email transitionsudbury@gmail.com

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