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Crafty Craft – Make a Raft at home

Local organisation, Visit Newbury, has announced a change to the Crafty Craft Race this year – the first ever online Craft Raft Race.

With the current national restrictions in place, it will not be viable for participants from mixed households to get together to build their rafts ahead of the annual event – a process that teams would usually start several months before the May race date.

Newbury BID, the non-profit organisation behind the Visit Newbury brand, has decided instead to go digital with the event for 2021.

This will be a first in Crafty Craft’s 47-year history, as families, friends, local residents, and businesses are invited to make mini rafts at home to float in the bath, paddling pool or even the washing up bowl.

Crafty Craft enthusiasts are asked to submit photo or video footage of their home-made crafts to Visit Newbury, with information on how to do so on the website.

The theme of this year’s Crafty Craft Race is ‘NHS Heroes’ and is a tribute to NHS staff who have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic. The digital event will support the West Berkshire Community Hospital charity.

In line with current restrictions, participants should build crafts with household members only, and the race element of the event is being removed to support the stay-at-home message from the Government.

Crafts of all shapes and sizes will be considered for the competition, and Visit Newbury encourages participants to think sustainably while creating their inventions by making the best use of recyclables.

Alison Drummond, Operations Manager of Newbury BID, says:

‘This is not a decision we have taken lightly. We understand Crafty Craft is a fabulous social occasion enjoyed by friends, family and co-workers. However, with no end-date yet in sight for the current lockdown, we cannot encourage household mixing until it is safe to do so…. Even as the lockdown starts to ease, it’s likely that safety measures such as the rule of six and social distancing will continue; a challenge too big for a six-mile stretch along open water.’

The provisional deadline for entries is Monday 19th April 2021, with the winners due to be announced on Monday 3rd May (May Bank Holiday).

Talks are underway with Parkway Shopping, Kennet Shopping, and local businesses, to determine prizes for the competition and these will be announced in due course.

To donate to Berkshire Health Charitable Fund, please visit

To keep up-to-date via Visit Newbury’s social media pages, @VisitNewbury, for any upcoming events, or visit