Yesterday I received an email from Alex who blogs at Sewrendipity asking for help from the Yorkshire Spoolettes to join her and others in making special tote bags for the local oncology units and hospices. Of course you don’t have to have been to any of the Spoolette meet ups to volunteer – if you sew and are from Yorkshire or there abouts yours automatically a Yorkshire Spoolette! And if you’re in the UK but not local read on as there are going to be similar things going on around the country.
Here’s an example of what will be sewn on the day – all cutting out will be done in advance (yay) so there’s only sewing to do!
And here’s the syringe driver…
Here’s the email from Alex which has all the information you’ll need to volunteer, including links. When you register and volunteer it can take 24 hours before you receive a confirmation email that you’ve been accepted as a volunteer.
Hello Ali and Amanda
Hope you’re well!
I have a mission for the Yorkshire Spoolettes, hope you’re keen to help!
M&S is organising a very cool sewing project in Leeds on 18th and 19th April and I was hoping you can lend a hand to spread the word, and even join if it’s not too far away or complicated. I will be there on the 18th for sure and a bit on the 19th as well in the morning, but dashing back to London for a meeting in the afternoon, so would be great to meet or see you again (looking at you Amanda :D).
In a few words, we’re taking over shop floor space in M&S Briggate store and turning it into a sewing studio, complete with sewing machines and all necessary tools. Over the two days, we are inviting people to volunteer their time and sewing skills to make special tote bags out of M&S fabric décor that is no longer needed. The bags are pre-cut and especially designed to be used in hospitals’ palliative care or oncology units and in hospices for a piece of medical equipment called Syringe driver unit (please see attached image to get an idea). We will be donating them to Macmillan Nurses at St James Hospital in Leeds, St Gemma’s Hospice and Wheatfields and Wakefield hospice, who will be handing them out to their patients. As they are single use because of infection control, such bags are always needed, so we are hoping volunteering with us will spark something good and people will continue making them. Each one will make a difference to a patient going through a very difficult time in their life. Apart from being very practical (some patients carry the syringe drivers in plastic bags or in socks pinned to their robes), the fact that someone took the time to make them by hand brings a bit of joy to the recipients of our bags. If you add the recycling aspect of reusing the M&S décor (please see attached image of what a completed bag looks like), we believe this is a very worthwhile project to get involved in. More info on our charity partner’s site: http://www.makingforcharity.co.uk/
We have set ourselves a target of 100 bags that can only be achieved with the help of some lovely volunteers! We can take up to 80 people, in 2h slots over the 2 days. The volunteers do not need to bring anything. If they can sew a straight line, we’ll be happy to have them join us! If they are experienced, even better, we might just smash our target! To manage the event better, we are working with a social media site called Neighbourly, where you can register as a volunteer, for the particular slot you can attend (10-12, 12-14, 14-16 and 16-18), on the 18th or the 19th April. Each slot is an ‘event’, so you will have to scroll down to find the right one on the right-hand side. This is the link to access Neighbourly and register: https://www.neighbourly.com/project/56f3b075c333bd04187e076a/information
The event is part of a national volunteering campaign M&S is running all over the country, called Spark Something Good. Every month for 24 months we’re going to a different city (London, Dublin, Manchester, Swansea and Edinburgh so far) and we ask our customers and staff to volunteer for 24 local projects that will make a difference in their community. So even if you have friends who don’t sew, there are 23 other really great causes to get behind! See all projects in Leeds and Bradford on Neighbourly: https://www.neighbourly.com/company/56f3c36dc333bd04187e1fc3/following
We would very much appreciate your help in spreading the word in the sewing community, so we can fill all our volunteering spaces and make as many bags as possible.I have prepared some assets to post on your Facebook page, Twitter or Instagram and a poster to print out and display. Please also use #SparkSomethingGood, so we can see your posts.
Do get in touch with any questions and I hope to see you in the sewing studio in M&S Briggate on the 18th or 19th April!
Many thanks and happy sewing,
Any questions please get in touch – if I can’t answer them I’ll contact Alex.