Stitchlinks is pioneering the provision of an evidence base for the benefits of crafts in healthcare. As a member of the craft trade you will gain immensely from this work whilst at the same time helping millions of people. It's a win win situation for everyone.

As a direct result of our work, knitting and knitting groups are already being endorsed by clinicians and academics with a special interest in long-term pain – 13% of the UK population suffers from long-term pain. This prevelance is reflected across the globe and this is just one of the many conditions we're working with. Clinicians and academics are acknowledging our work, and as a result, Betsan is regularly invited to talk about therapeutic knitting at medical seminars as well as being invited to attend the Pain Sumit at Westminster where official policy for the future treatment of pain in the UK will be discussed.

We have identified knitting as a model craft but valuable information we're gathering during our research is leading us to other activities which also appear to have enhanced benefits. In the immediate future other crafts will be able to draw ideas and information from our results on knitting, but importantly, this research will provide a starting point and spring board to research into the benefits of other activities too.

Having an evidence base gives you the facts and proof with which to grow your business into new markets which are recession proof and free from fashion trends. Think of the boost in your trade if just a quarter of the hospitals and doctors around the world used crafts as part of their mainstream treatment plans! We are already introducing knitting and knitting groups into mainstream healthcare in the UK so this is not just a pipe dream, it is a reality.

Millions of people around the world suffer from long-term medical conditions such as chronic pain, stress and depression. Providing an evidence base could divert some of the massive drugs budgets the way of craft, which is an exciting thought.

Below are some of the ways you as a trader can become involved:

  • Start a therapeutic knitting or craft group in your shop, local care home or other suitable venue and become part of our global therapeutic network.

  • Sign up for a Stitchlinks newsletter to keep up with our news.

  • Pass on information to your customers to spread the word.

  • Encourage your customers to start their own group and become part of our network.

  • Donate. We have a range of projects looking for funding. Contact us for details.