A Stitch In Time

What gives you a sense of wellbeing?

This is the question we posed to customers to mark Mental Health Awareness Week. On Monday 8 May Fulford library hosted a launch event and customers came up with some wonderful ideas, such as cycling, smiling, dancing, flowers, pets, sunshine, friendships and of course reading.   Lots of materials had been very kindly donated: embroidery threads, fabric, needles, wool, cotton and a sumptuous jar of colourful buttons. We invited customers to sew their ideas onto a large piece of turquoise organza. Customers of all ages sat around the table, chatting and sewing and by the end of the evening there were rabbits, birds, books, a bicycle, a strawberry, a smiley face, various flowers, a sparkly diamond ring and even a disco adorning the fabric! Throughout the week that followed more customers dropped by with appliqués they had made, to represent what gave them a feeling of wellbeing, and added them to the emerging artwork.

Alongside the artwork we promoted the government’s document ‘ five ways to wellbeing’, which comprises being active, giving, learning, connecting and taking notice. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/five-ways-to-mental-wellbeing We asked for suggestions on how we could achieve these. Suggestions were written on post it notes and applied to a wooden tree. One suggestion for connecting was to join a book group, which of course we fully endorse!

The fabric is now at Clifton library where they will be working on their own wellbeing and craft skills until 25 May. There will also be another opportunity for you to get involved, at Dringhouses library, from 22 June.

The finished 2 ½ metre long piece of artwork will be displayed later in the year in the main corridor at York Hospital, for patients, staff and visitors to enjoy and be inspired by.

Further reading

A Guide to UK-based Free Mental Health Helplines by Cassiobury Court.