Needlework Group

Covid-19: Please note due to Covid-19 the Staff Walking Group and Staff Needlework Group are not currently running.

The Staff Needlework Group is run by Erica Williams who works at the Faculty of Engineering Research Support Hub.


The Needlework Group is a chance for anyone and everyone to come together to learn how to, share knowledge or just to finish that “thing” you have been doing for the last few years. Any-thing, that is, that uses needles e.g. embroidery, crochet, knitting, cross-stitch, quilting, patchwork etc.

No experience needed – just enthusiasm and a little patience!

1. Why do you lead the Needlework Group?

I quite often sit and do my needlework on site and have had numerous comments about people wanting to learn. So I contacted the Staff Wellbeing team about setting up the group and "the rest is history" as they say.

2. Talk us through your Staff Wellbeing journey.

As well as the above, I have taken part in other sessions and many of them are too energetic for me, another reason for suggesting needlework to the Staff Wellbeing Team.

3. What do you enjoy the most about leading the Needlework Group?

There is nothing more satisfying than showing someone how to do something, see them overcome their struggles to become accomplished at their chosen craft. To the enjoyment and satisfaction it brings them when they produce something with their own hands, which they never thought they were capable of.

I also love meeting people from different parts of the University and seeing different crafts being done. I have also been shown how to crochet - I just need to practice....


4. Do you have any other wellbeing interests/hobbies?

I am keen gardener and I do archery whenever the weather permits.

5. If you could bust one myth about the Needlework Group, what would it be?

That it is not for experts! It is for EVERYONE at ALL levels and ANY hand needle craft. We learn off each other and inspire each other with new ideas.

6. How can staff integrate the Needlework Group into their work and home-life?

The sessions take place over lunch time (we will be alternating them between Weds and Thurs next semester) so you can use them to escape from the office for an hour. Many of us bring our lunch too.
When I have something that I am doing to a deadline I quite often bring it to work every day and do a little it each morning before I start my working day.

Once you get going it quite relaxing to craft whilst "watching" the TV. There are many things I listen to and then look up when it sounds interesting. It is amazing how quickly things "grow" when you a little bit often.

Needlework 2

7. What do you think are the benefits for staff who get involved?

Some of the feedback is that once they have plucked up courage to come along and realise that we are not all super-knitters or crocheters, they learn something new and they start to find the sessions relaxing.

Some, like me, like to have the commitment in their diary to "force" them to go out of the office for a break at lunchtime, away from their PC.

8. What about the Needlework Group encourages others to connect?

Like attracts like! But you would be surprised at the diversity of the of the people who do needlework.

I hope the word is getting out that we are a friendly and helpful bunch.

9. What has been your favourite session - what happened on this session?

My favourite needlework session was the first one - people turned up! I wasn't sure if there was an appetite for it.

To be honest I enjoy all the sessions - they are always different with different people coming along each week, seeing people making progress with their items.

To book your place on to the next Staff Needlework Group, please visit the Staff Activity Platform. For any queries please contact

Do you have an interest or hobby you'd like to share?

Whether it's board gaming, crafting, frisbeeing or something completely unique, if you'd like to share your interest or hobby with others we'd love to hear from you! Get in touch by emailing