Women suffering from illness, trauma or personal loss were treated to a jewellery workshop run by the CanInspire Charitable Trust this week.

National co-ordinator of the trust, Louise Duke, said they wanted to create a form of art therapy which created a distraction and brought people together who were suffering similar things.

"People really enjoy it and it has been really positive because it takes them into a different environment and allows them to have a distraction."

CanInspire was established in Ashburton by Sarah Clifford following her own battle with cancer.


She was diagnosed with Melanoma at the age of 28 and used the creation of jewellery to help get her through the treatment.

During her time in Daffodil House in Christchurch she would create jewellery to give to her family and friends to thank them for helping with her children.

Once she left the house she donated her jewellery to the Cancer Society and decided to create the trust to help others like her.

Ms Duke said Ms Clifford was an inspiration to anyone she met in the workshops and those who worked beside her.

CanInspire currently have workshops running through the South Island and in Wellington but had requests from the Hawke's Bay Cancer Society, Cranford Hospice and Sweet Louise to bring it to Hawke's Bay.

"This is a huge milestone for our charity and Sarah is originally from here so it is quite the achievement for her to be taking the charity back home."

The group provide CanBead jewellery-making classes to individuals and groups in a range of community settings, including in day units, support centres and hospitals.

All of the jewellery they use is recycled and donated from groups or organisations and individuals from around the country.

"We are so grateful, if anyone has something like a broken clasp we are able to break, clean and colour co-ordinate it so it can be used in our workshops."

They give each person who attends the workshop a jewellery kit bag, which features tools like tiger wire, findings to make them, four bead packs and bags hand sewn by their own volunteers.

"It is really amazing, people can take what we have taught them at the workshop home. We had one person today say they could not wait to remake jewellery for their whanau."

The trust also offers fly fishing courses for men and women under CanTackle in Christchurch and Ms Duke hopes they can bring this to Hawke's Bay too.

"We are working with Hunting and Fishing and our aim for the future is to be able to offer CanTackle to all places that have Hunting and Fishing in their town."

The group are a not for profit organisation and all workshops are free of charge.

Ms Duke said they have left a donation box for any unwanted or unused jewellery at the Cancer Society in Hastings.

"If anyone has any they are not using or is broken we would love to have it so we can turn it into tools for our workshops."