The aim of Patched Together is to make learning textile skills accessible to all Lewisham residents and create an intergenerational community of crafters.
The programme will build on the success of our pilot project which ran from Nov 2020 - Feb 2021. Over 12 weeks 75 households were delivered fortnightly textile kits teaching them how to do skills like darning, printing and embroidery. The patches they made were collected and will be sewn into collaborative artworks which are going to be exhibited in public spaces around Lewisham.
We want to run the project again with more participants, improve it using the feedback we gathered from the pilot scheme and develop a new creative programme for initial participants.
We will use our existing relationships with local support organisations to make it even more accessible for those with additional needs or who might not usually engage with this kind of activity. Priority will be given to those who are vulnerable, isolated or low income.
What we'll deliver:
- 450 kits - 6 kits each for 75 new makers. The kits include everything needed to complete the project.
- 150 kits - 6 new craft projects for 25 continuing participants (1 per month for 6 months.)
- 12 free online workshops. 6 for patch makers, 6 for continuing participants.
- An online gallery of all the work with videos and tutorials. (A suggestion from initial participants.)
- Varied volunteer opportunities.
- Paid opportunities for local people to add their creative input.
- Pieces of public art that can be displayed in community spaces around Lewisham.
- Exhibiting current patchworks around Lewisham in windows/ currently unused spaces.
- Platforms for participants to connect with to each other online & offline.
Why it's a great idea:
Engaging in craft is proven to have a positive impact on mental health and working on a shared project can decrease feelings of isolation and create bonds in the community. These impacts were noted by our initial makers.
Lewisham’s Health & Wellbeing Strategy 2016-19 shows an already high level of mental ill health in the borough relative to the rest of London and the UK, with the pandemic only heightening existing inequalities and vulnerabilities. We want the benefits of creativity to be accessible to all regardless of personal or financial barriers.
For this next stage we want to work with organisations to help us target people who may not usually regard themselves as creative, or are feeling particularly disconnected, or have additional needs.
Providing multiple spaces for communication allows makers to engage with one another and facilitators easily.
Exhibiting the patches will bring life to public spaces and give makers a sense of pride and achievement.
Steps to get it done:
- February - April 2021 - Collating final patches from pilot and touring exhibition around Lewisham for 3/4 months.
- May - June -2021- Recruiting new organisations/individuals.
- June 2021 - Launching new and continuing Patched Together phases.
- July - August 2021 - Projects continue.
- September - October 2021 - Sewing patches together, documenting & exhibiting.
- November 2021 - Evaluation & planning for potential next steps.
At least a third of the original makers would like to carry on receiving craft kits, they have stressed how much it has helped them during these difficult months.
Final artworks will be donated to local community organisations near to where patchers live, including those who referred makers to the project. The makers will help us choose where they end up.
Our experience from the pilot scheme and the extensive feedback we gathered will help us grow and evolve the project. We had a £2500 grant from Community Waves in November 2020 for 60 people which we extended to 75 using our own funds due to demand. Referral organisations we worked with were: VSL, Arts Network, Lewisham & Greenwich Mind, Lewisham Homes, Evelyn Community Store and Bring Me Sunshine. There are many more support services we can connect with through the boroughs extensive Community Connections programme. Rushey Green Timebank and Bromley Mind are already interested, we also have individuals on our waiting list.