ABOUT US

Established in 2021, Craft Forward is a not-for-profit that provides
accessible, creative, experiences suitable for everyone, regardless of their skills and background.
Our aim is to disrupt the current elitism within the arts and crafts world and open creativity to
all through workshops with a clear social impact.

OUR VALUES

Prioritising Social Impact
Creating positive social impact is embedded in all our activities, and is at the core of everything we do. 
 
Everyone is Welcome
We overcome all barriers to arts and crafts through being a consistent, welcoming, supportive, accessible, inclusive and immersive community.
 
Connection & Community
We create experiences where our people can feel comfortable to create and connect with their work and others.
 
Small Steps to Big Change
We are dedicated to tackling social issues with consistent smaller actions from many people.  

MEET THE TEAM

ELENA LO PRESTI

CREATIVE & MANAGING DIRECTOR

Elena started the initiative Blankets for Lambeth in 2020 and founded Craft Forward in 2021. She runs the CIC and facilitates our workshops. Alongside her work with Craft Forward she is a multidisciplinary artist. Her work explores the intersection of social justice, wellbeing and crafts.

Conceptually, her art deals with themes including the domestic, visual narration and alternative personal archival practices – working primarily in ceramics, writing and textile.

CHIQUE NARWAN

DEPUTY DIRECTOR

Chique is a social entrepreneur and innovator, building resources for young people, communities and the grassroots organisations that support them. 

She founded the social enterprise Inzyme UK in 2020 and the CIC The Innovators League in 2023. She has worked with Craft Forward as a consultant since 2021 and as Deputy Director since 2023.

TOBIAS GUMBRILL

PHOTOGRAPHER AND VIDEOGRAPHER

Tobias is our in-house photographer and videographer, capturing Craft Forward’s journey workshop after workshop.

He is a mixed media artist working with a variety of materials, including sculpture, sound, woodwork and metalwork. He is currently attending an MA in Sculpture at Slade School of Arts while continuing his teaching career.

HANA BARAKA

CREATIVE FACILITATOR

Hana, a first-year Architecture Masters student at the Royal College of Art, discovered Craft Forward in 2021, marking the start of a transformative chapter. A dedicated member of the Young Grant Makers Panel at Islington Council, Hana actively contributes to community development.

Beyond her academic pursuits, she indulges in diverse hobbies, finding joy in crochet, knitting, cooking, the arts, roller skating, and nature. Hana is not just an architecture enthusiast but a community builder, creative, and nature-loving soul, shaping spaces and communities alike in the heart of London.

BRITTANY SUTCLIFFE

CREATIVE FACILITATOR

Brittany re-discovered her love for knitting at one of our Knit Club, and she’s now our third workshop facilitator. She is a multidisciplinary artist and educator: her personal work reflects on how social norms impact behaviour, memory and trauma. Have a look at more of her work here: brittanysutcliffe.com.

Brittany graduated from Arts University Bournemouth in 2021 and she teaches Games Design at East London Arts and music.

OLIVER SKIPPER

CREATIVE FACILITATOR

Oliver is an academic researcher who was first introduced to the knitting by the first two textile maestros in his life: his Auntie Hazel and Grandmother Joyce. Since then, from wanting to look interesting whilst riding the tube, attending his first Craft Forward session in 2022, all the way to taking up actual knitting projects – Oliver’s crafting has come a long way.

Beyond the knitting circle, Oliver champions mental health awareness and fosters inclusive communities. As a result of this, Oliver felt right at home at Craft Forward as it’s a welcoming space where members can bond over shared passions and experiences, threading together friendships and creating a tapestry of warmth and connection.

ELLE WOODS-MARSHALL

CREATIVE FACILITATOR

Elle is a crochet girlie through and through. She started coming along to workshops in February 2023 with the hope of finding community, friends and joy in being creative. Her unofficial role is being Craft Forward’s hype woman, which mainly includes telling every person she meets about CF and swiftly directing them to sign up to the newsletter.

After studying English lit and politics at uni, she now works in the charity sector in digital marketing.

HUDA WARSAME

CREATIVE FACILITATOR

Huda can be found in classrooms across London shaping young and eager minds as an Educator. When she isn’t hands-on in moulding the next greats of our society, she is wistfully dedicated to expressing herself through the art of knitting and crocheting. Hudas love for knitting was first introduced to her during the pandemic and she has never looked back.

Huda first joined the Craft Forward in July 2023; quickly finding community amongst her fellow Craft Forward crew. Having participated in the Blankets for Lambeth she quickly realised that something as personal as knitting can be a way to weave and connect to a greater cause that unifies us all.

ELZA JASZCZUK

CREATIVE FACILITATOR

Elza started working with Craft Forward as a volunteer during the first Blankets for Lambeth, and is now facilitating our knitting workshops.

She is a multitalented maker and crafter, specialising in ceramics as well as knitting and crocheting: Elza makes her unique ceramics pieces with organic shapes in her London studio, you can look at more of her work on ceramicsmix.com.

GET IN TOUCH

WANT TO WORK WITH US?

We are always open to collaborate with organisations  that, like us, have community at the core of their mission. We also provide a range of workshops and creative events for organisations, social enterprises and businesses. 

GET IN TOUCH

WANT TO WORK WITH US?

We are always open to collaborate with organizations  that, like us, have community at the core of their mission. We also provide a range of workshops and creative events for organisations, social enterprises and businesses. 

GET IN TOUCH

WANT TO WORK WITH US?

We are always open to collaborate with organizations  that, like us, have community at the core of their mission. We also provide a range of workshops and creative events for organisations, social enterprises and businesses. 

WANT TO WORK WITH US?