CraftAbility held an anniversary celebration to mark 60 years of helping people with disabilities.

The Thaxted centre, which is open on Mondays and Thursdays, offers an opportunity for people with disabilities to make crafts while tackling loneliness and isolation.

An anniversary party was held on Saturday, September 16 - marking both 60 years since the group was formed at the British Legion in 1963, and 50 years since they moved to their current home in Dunmow Road in 1973.

Dunmow Broadcast: Judy Weavers and Frances CoyleJudy Weavers and Frances Coyle (Image: CraftAbility)

The charity was founded by a hospital visitor named Kay Low for her adopted disabled son.

Originally known as The Town and Country Workshop for the Physically Handicapped, the name was changed in 1988 to the Thaxted Disabled Centre, before being renamed against last year to CraftAbility.

More than 100 people visited the centre for the festivities throughout the day, including current and former members, families, local councillors, supporters of the charity and other members of the public.

Frances Coyle, who has been a member of the centre for more than 21 years, kicked off the celebration by unveiling a plaque.

The Bishop's Stortford Ukelele Band then started off their set by performing a rousing chorus of 'Happy Birthday'.


In the afternoon, the Thaxted Morris Men performed their ritual folk dancing accompanied by music, followed by the country and western band 'Mike and Colin'.

Centre manager Judy Weaver said: "This was a fitting event where everyone could celebrate two special anniversaries for what is a special charity.

"The volunteers who help run the centre and the members have worked tirelessly over the past few weeks to ensure this was a special day for all.

"I would like to thank Uttlesford Community Travel for their additional support as well as all the entertainers who were excellent in ensuring everyone would leave with happy memories.

"We now look forward to the next 10 years, but to do that we need to continue to evolve, ensuring that those whose lives have been hindered by both disabilities and often loneliness have somewhere to come that gives them a purpose and allows them to develop new skills."