The idea for Pimm’s & Needles was born during a discussion at a sewing classes that Charlotte was teaching with a group of like-minded ladies. We chatted about how nice it was to meet up and try something new, whilst enjoying a cuppa and a slice of cake. We found it to be a wonderful tonic for the soul and a great opportunity to get a bit of much needed escapism!
Following this we did lots of planning, had plenty of discussions, drank more tea and ate more cake and finally we decided to just go for it and start our own little group and see where it lead.
So in September 2015 Charlotte & Donna, along with lots of help and support from friends which became our newly formed committee, opened our door at The Mustard Tree Cafe in Hurworth hoping for 20-30 ladies to arrive that might like to join our little merry group… we don’t think we will ever get over the shock by the queue of almost 70 ladies that were outside waiting to come in!
After each meeting we were getting messages on our Facebook page from more ladies that wanted to join us, the waiting list just kept growingCharlotte – Joint Founder
It was completely overwhelming and whilst it made planning our activities a little bit more difficult we embraced it as a challenge. Initially we had some discussion about potentially joining the Woman’s Institute, but after running successfully on our own for 3 months we asked our members to vote, and they were largely in favour of us running as we were, as an independent ladies group and so we continued.
After each meeting we were getting messages on our Facebook page from more ladies that wanted to join us, the waiting list just kept growing. So in June 2016 we opened another group in Darlington at a larger venue where we were able to accommodate the full waiting list and have room for a few more. We posted a link for ladies to book online and were once again overwhelmed when all of the 90 memberships were sold out within 24 hours.
As we were fully subscribed we were able to launch group number three, Aycliffe Village launched in April 2017 once again was embraced by the community and after the first meeting had no spaces left. Groups in Barnard Castle, Northallerton and Durham, Yarm, Middlesbrough, Richmond and Bishop Auckland have since followed with many more in the pipeline once it is safe to meet again.
As well as having a super supportive committee we are fortunate to have some fabulously supportive members and we also have welcomed Tracy Shutt to join us as a Director.
We have a fantastic team of around 30 ladies on our committee that help & support us at the groupsDonna – Joint Founder
2020 has been a difficult year for us like many groups and businesses, we have been unable to meet at our events and can only stay in touch with our members virtually,
During the Pandemic we have been offering virtual sessions and kit collections for our members and also working with funding organisations to provide activity packs for socially isolated Elderly people.
We are currently distributing around 200 activity care packages per month into the local with the support of our members who have given up their time to help us with deliveries. If you’d like to be involved with our community work please get in touch.
Charlotte Pyrah is textile designer, sewing teacher and author of several sewing & crafting books.
Mum of two little boys, Charlotte enjoys weekends away with her family in her vintage caravan, a good game of poker, mojitos and most things floral!
Donna is a designer / maker with a background in candle making, upcycling and Marketing.
In her free time Donna loves spending time with her two unruly Cockapoo’s Daisy and Frank. Donna loves gardening and decorating and is addicted to visiting TK Maxx!