How the Lace Guild in the Black Country has kept going through challenging times

Like so many organisations and charities across the world, the Lace Guild has faced numerous challenges in 2020 and 2021 due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

As the largest lace organisation in the United Kingdom, staying in touch with members and keeping lacemaking alive during periods of lockdown has been vital.

The Lace Guild, based in Wordsley, near Stourbridge, shares its passion for the craft of lace making with a global membership.

And as Denise Smith, Vice Chair of the Lace Guild Executive Committee observes, in some instances the community has not only been surviving, but thriving!

Denise says: “We’ve had a difficult year or so, and there have had to be a lot of changes and adjustments. Our building has been closed and like so many other organisations, many events have had to be put on hold.

Denise pre-lockdown

“But in other respects, we’ve found people have adapted and certain things are easier. All our meetings now take place via Zoom, and a lot of our members report that they have been taking part in lace making groups online.

“The number of people, some of whom are quite elderly, who have been able to meet via video call has been heartening.”

Some things haven’t changed, including what The Lace Guild is there to help with, as Denise explains:

“Our aim is to put people in touch and make sure they have access to information about lacemaking and other lace makers. Members enjoy receiving our magazine and we continue to support people even in the absence of many of our regular events and workshops.

“We started a Lace Guild Lockdown Facebook group and recruited a new editor for our magazine this year.

“As always, our website and social media platforms are a great way to stay in touch and see what is happening in the world of lace.”

Find The Lace Guild on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. In addition, there is a dedicated website at www.laceguild.org

The Lace Guild plans to reopen in 2021 with a new exhibition of 20th Century Lace. There’s an online exhibition of Lockdown Lace coming in December. The Lace Guild produces two quarterly magazines, ‘Lace’ and ‘Early Days in Lacemaking’ and also has an online shop, plus there’s a large library available to members. Why not join The Lace Guild today?

The Lace Guild has received a Recovery Grant from Arts Council England through the West Midlands Museum Development Programme, with additional funding from Art Fund.

The grant assists organisations looking to reopen and helps with public engagement.

Image of rainbow and image of Denise: © Denise Smith

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