As well as running our public programme of workshops and events at Stitched Up HQ in Chorlton, we travel across Manchester to deliver fashion, sewing and wellbeing activities for organisations supporting young people and vulnerable adults.
We’re proud to work with some truly incredible Manchester organisations, so we thought it’d be good to share with you the amazing work they do in this city and the projects we work on together.
Since the lockdown, almost all of our face-to-face sessions have been put on hold. The one partner we have resumed sessions with is the Booth Centre. Let’s tell you a bit about them…
Above: The beautiful mosaic made by Centre attendees to commemorate their 25th birthday.
WHAT THEY DO
The Booth Centre is a brilliant charity running a bustling day centre for adults who are or are facing homeless, which this year celebrated its 25th birthday! The Centre supports over 150 people each week, providing two free meals every weekday, plus support with housing, benefits and securing volunteer placements, training and work. In addition, each week is packed with activities, including sport, gardening, music, drama, ESOL, IT skills, opera, a debate group, art and sewing. The Centre’s drama group (with Edge Theatre) and opera group (with Streetwise Opera) have made some incredible productions – we highly recommend keeping an eye out and catching a performance if you can!
OUR WORK TOGETHER
We’ve been working with the Booth Centre for a few years now, providing sewing and upcycling sessions. As well as working with individuals to level up their sewing skills, we also work on group projects, some of which are exhibited in Manchester venues. Some of these projects include:
Big Sleepout Quilt
During lockdown, the Booth Centre began a programme of online or post-based activities called Connecting Through Activities, helping people to stay active, connected and creative through lockdown.
We began a remote project as part of this programme creating a collaborative Quarantine Quilt from individual squares of hand embroidery that participants worked on at home from kits that we posted out to them.
We returned to the Booth Centre in June to run some socially-distanced and Covid secure workshops. These were our first in-person workshops post-lockdown and it was so great to get back to our face-to-face sessions, albeit hidden behind a visor!
Our latest block of sewing sessions at the Booth Centre, which have just concluded, focused on building hand and machine sewing skills and making useful items including cushion covers and bags. The final two sessions were attended by Phil from the brilliant arts organisation Arthur+Martha, who also regularly work with the Booth Centre. Phil is working on a poetry writing project with Centre attendees, and came along to the sewing group to sit with one person at a time and co-write a poem with them. Phil has shared one of the poems and his impression of the sessions in this blog post.
SUPPORT THEIR WORK
If you’d like to do something to support the amazing work the Booth Centre do, here are a few ways you can help…
They’re currently calling for people to get involved in their annual fundraiser the Manchester Sleepout. This is a sponsored challenge to spend just one night sleeping outdoors, not to replicate what it’s like to be homeless, but to help participants to understand the challenges people face when they don’t have their own home. Usually, the event takes place in the grounds of Manchester Cathedral, and around X people take part, sleeping outside to raise sponsorship money for the Centre. The event will be a little different this year, due to Covid, with participants being asked to hold their own mini Sleepout with a small group of family/friends. Find out how to take part here.