With a Makery sewing kit in my backpack I headed out on a bitter cold November morning to run a workshop at a homeless day centre in Central London. I arrive at The Passage, St Vincent's Centre and I am struck by it's airy, light and welcoming atmosphere.
I set up a workshop ready to teach a group of people how to hand patchwork. There was an array of fabrics to choose from, hot tea and coffee and a delicious spread of biscuits. Hospitality is big in The Passage and it seems to me that everyone was welcome.
Mark, Eva, Brian, Eilis and Anne start off the morning and more people join in as the chin-wagging and sharing stitching stories begins. It was wonderful to see such a warm group of people, some of whom had never sewn before, become so absorbed in this collective activity. Despite the challenges they are facing in other parts of their lives everyone in the group came together and shared in a common experience. By the end of the session, cushion covers were being completed and sense of achievement was being shared.
It's great to take some time out, no matter how hard, how busy, or how uninspiring life feels. The people of The Passage day centre inspired me to remember that to simply sew together is one of life's joys.
Here are the thoughts of some of the people from the workshop:
"How lovely to spend a morning sewing and talking together, it's something I have not done in a long time and I have remembered how much I enjoyed it"
"I never thought I would be able to learn to sew in just one morning but I did"
"I would love if we could do this every Friday morning, Emily was so patient and really gave us confidence that we could do it"