Stitch in time to help homeless people in Chichester

January 10, 2017

Staff and students at Chichester College have been busy stitching and sewing to help homeless people.

They have been working with local charity, Blanket Angels, to transform recycled grey utility covers into brightly coloured winter warmers for homeless people in the area.

The blankets include labels with information about local shelters and organisations who can offer help or support.

Blanket Angels was set up by Anna Stephenson-Knight six months ago. She works with local sewing clubs to create the blankets that not only provide warmth and comfort – but also details of where they can seek help.

And they’ve been boosted by the efforts of students and staff at Chichester College – who made 57 blankets on Thursday (15 December).

Anna said: “I’ve been really pleased by the response from the college.

“All day, people have been dropping in to design and make blankets – including people who have never used a sewing machine.

“I’m amazed we have made so many, I’m really grateful to all the staff and students who have given up their time for us.

“These are more than ‘just’ blankets – each one sees people putting a little bit of love and care into making them, which hopefully will provide a little bit of comfort as well as warmth.”

Abi Lomax, a second year fashion and textiles student, said: “We were asked if we wanted to make some blankets. It’s such a great thing to be able to help with.

“It’s really nice to be able to put our skills to good use by helping other people.”

Not all the volunteers came from the college’s art department though. Andy Burgess, Student Enrichment Office at the college, was among those sewing for the first-time.

He said: “This is the first time I’ve used a sewing machine and it has been a bit tricky. It’s for a really good cause, so I just wanted to help.”

Shelagh Legrave OBE, Chichester College Principal, added: “I think my mother would be shocked to see me at a sewing machine!

“As a college we pride ourselves on our community involvement, and enjoy helping out with projects like this one where we can.

“As the Chair of Trustees for Stonepillow, this is a cause that is close to my heart and I know how much of a difference one of these could make.”