Recently, Southampton customers came together to pick up new skills from each other and local organisations. The idea behind it came from an ex-customer and everyone enjoyed getting involved.
There were nine different skills to explore ranging from everyday tips for home maintenance and life skills to impressive arts and crafts. Handymen offered wide-ranging displays of home-security gadgets and demonstrations of simple DIY plumbing. You could try your hand at creating a decorative vegetable, being guided to delicately carve fish and lotus flowers out of carrots and onions.
There were special cards for birthdays, Easter and other occasions as well cosy knitted goods including blankets for newborns. Not only did these crafts give customers pleasure in giving homemade gifts but materials were often sourced from local charity shops saving money all round.
Talking of money, there was a table you could turn to for practical advice on budgeting and brushing up of literacy skills so that customers could gain in confidence and independence. Alongside this someone was demonstrating how to get online, much to the delight of a customer trying to translate French newspapers. If you were looking for more opportunities you could get advice on how to draw up a CV with tips on how to make it stand out. Customers were even treated to relaxing Indian massages.
It proved to be a very successful afternoon which it is hoped will be the catalyst for customer groups set to increase customer confidence through the sharing of skills and learning from each other.