Sewing group near Buckingham knits presents for teenagers and young adults leaving care

A sewing group near Buckingham is designing special presents for teenagers and young adults leaving care.

By James Lowson
Friday, 22nd July 2022, 10:51 am

Members of the Tingewick Patchers are creating what they call ‘quilted hugs’ for those leaving fostering and supported housing in Bucks.

The Tingewick group is taking on the project in Bucks, it is part of a larger national scheme called, Quilts For Care Leavers (Q4CL).

Hugs are given to individuals leaving council care aged between 16 and 25, set to tackle the challenges of independent living.

Councillor Anita Cranmer, Gillian Thomas, Brenda Smith, and Mandy Webber

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Brenda Smith who runs the group said: “The idea was started by one of our members, Gillian Thomas, seeing an article online about Q4CL. The movement started in the North of England and it has become a success. We talked about it in our meeting, and I wondered if there was a similar need in Bucks, so I rang the council to discuss the idea. We got the all-clear from the leaving care team and then we got busy doing the fun part of making up the quilts."

Each of the single bed-sized quilts takes between one and three months to stitch together.

Tingewick Patchers is made up of 40 participants who meet once a week.

Brenda added: “As a group we all indulge our love of colour and patterns to make patchwork items but at the same time as just enjoying ourselves, we are always sewing for or raising funds for one charity or another.”

Bucks Council’s Leaving Care service involves drawing up an individual plan to assist each person entering independent living.

An emphasis is placed on health and wellbeing, education, careers, finding accommodation, building social relationships and managing finances.

Councillor Anita Cranmer said: “I would like to thank Brenda and her friends for their time and efforts in creating these amazing works of art, they really are wonderful. You can clearly see the dedication and love that has gone into creating each one and that sentiment will be passed on to the care leavers who receive them.

"It will be something they can keep for many years to come and is a touching way of helping them to move on in their journeys into independence and into their adult lives.”