Social Impact of Common Threads

Mental health problems are a growing public health concern, one of the main causes of the overall health problems worldwide.

  • Mental health problems e.g. depression, anxiety are reported to be the primary drivers of disability worldwide.

  • It is estimated that 1 in 4 people in England experience a mental health problem.

  • There are 6,000,000 carers in the UK.  92% of carers said that caring has had a negative impact on their mental health, including stress and depression.

  • Loneliness is a growing problem in the UK.  Research shows that loneliness and social isolation are harmful to our health: lacking social connections carries the same risk factor for early death as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, and is more harmful than well-known risk factors such as obesity and physical inactivity. 63% of adults over 52 report feeling lonely some of the time or often.


Common Threads addresses these issues though creativity

Professionals in mental health settings believe our approach can help improve wellbeing and prevent admissions and re-admissions to primary care. A recent independent evaluation undertaken by a student from Derby University concluded that Common Threads had a positive impact on the well-being of participants and also benefitted their families.

The work of the group has had significant benefits: -

Working with Common Threads has brought great gains to our clients and ex-clients and has helped to prevent readmission.

Denise Clark, Occupational Therapy Assistant, Radbourne Unit, Derbyshire NHS.

Group members themselves identify a sustained benefit from working with the group: -

my hands don’t shake when I am sewing

 I have made friends here

 I feel more confident

finding out I can achieve something


Supporting wellbeing

The New Economics Foundation identifies five ‘ways to wellbeing’ – actions that can improve how we feel about ourselves and our world.

Common Threads: Make & Mend fulfils the ‘Five Ways to wellbeing’ in various ways: -

Take notice: participants become more aware of their environment, visit historical and cultural sites, exhibitions, study craft objects, materials and techniques

Be active: participants attend regularly and are active makers. The action of sewing and making has been proven to help participants feel more relaxed and ‘present’, and could have can have significant benefits to health

Keep learning: participants learn new skills, learn about the heritage of the area, about museums, galleries and cultural events

Connect: participants connect with people in the group, with the heritage and cultural life of the city and to a community of creative textile makers, past and present.

Give back: Participants support each other, learn from each other. As participants grow in confidence, they are able to take more active role in the group, teaching others.