Everyone's welcome at Huntly's Friendship House.

Arts and crafts classes at Huntly Friendship House has helped connect community members with one another.

Various workshops this year had booming success with numbers, giving the chance for residents to make new friends. 

Residents of all ages and backgrounds have enjoyed candle-making, felt workshops, mosaics and collage-making to name a few.

Friendship house manager Victoria Kemp has found people love to work in groups and it was a good way to be social.

"More new people are coming and it's new people to the area as well."

Long-term residents are also making use of the classes with some who live down the same street and are only finally making the connection,  she said.

With more than $2000 of funding from the Waikato District Council's Creative Communities Fund, some of those classes had tuition and materials covered which kept costs low.

That's one of the reasons why they had been successful, she said.

"It provides an opportunity that's affordable and gets like-minded people together."

People were also willing to share their skills around, she said.

Unexpected outcomes have been a benefit. 

"Out of the felt workshop a lady offered to tutor a leather workshop."

This and other classes including wearable arts and mixed media are set to take place later this year. 

It's showed that there are plenty of "arty" people in the community which is helping "breathe new life" into different art practices. 

Kemp said the next step was to have work displayed publicly and ultimately for some to make an income out of their creations.


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