Giving the elderly and resettled refugees a renewed sense of purpose is the next focus for northern suburbs women Caitlin Marshall and Lizzie Rose.
Their not-for-profit social enterprise Wild Rumpus has grown substantially in the past three years, so much so it’s major lifeline the Makers Market will hold its final event at Wollongong Town Hall on Saturday.
The Makers Markets have been the launching ground of more than 330 new “makers” including Unanderra teenager Jordan Lukey who makes upcycled timber products on weekends and Chrystie Longworth who wanted to make her ceramic art hobby sustainable.
“It validates what we’re doing, it gives us exposure to the local audience, it helps you earn money to keep making - I don’t make any profit from what I’m doing ...it’s such an expensive hobby,” Ms Longworth said.
Ms Marshall said it was great to see the local movement of makers grow with many going on to create small online businesses or setup stalls at other markets and “really fly”.
However, she said with the number of markets increasing around the Illawarra plus a few other factors, she and Ms Rose decided it was time to bring the platform to an end.
“The main thing is we’re still a very tiny organisation and our big focus is our community building work,” Ms Marshall said.
“I guess it really comes down to there’s only so much we can do and put our energy into.”
Wild Rumpus has already begun skillshare workshops with older people in the community in conjunction with IRT and are currently in discussions with refugee advocates SCARF about creating opportunities for people newly resettled to the Illawarra to pass on their unique skills.
“It’s been so wonderful, not only for community to learn but for the teachers themselves they find it such an empowering experience,” Ms Marshall said.
“Part of what we like to do is really celebrate and give people a chance to be reminded these skills are important and it’s important we value and treasure them … which is the focus of our work.”