18 at heart (2020)

18 at Heart is a bespoke arts project which we designed with the Selly Oak Neighbourhood Network Scheme in mind (Live. Laugh. Love.)

During 2020 we have been working with a team of wonderful stitchers aged 50+ from the area to stitch unique tapestry hearts which will eventually (when COVID-19 restrictions have lifted) be used to YARN BOMB or decorate 5.5 miles of the no.18 bus route which runs through Billesley, Brandwood, Molyhull, Kings Norton North, and through Masefield in Bournville and Cotteridge ward to Northfield.

While our stitch team has certainly benefited from some creative activity during lockdown, together we hope to lift people’s spirits and spread positivity with the artwork for the benefit of the wider community. The yarn-bombing is all about unleashing the artistic rebel in us! 

Alongside stitching we have also been collecting memories of when our stitchers, and other people in the community, were aged 18. It has been great to share and hear each others’ stories.

How is the project running?

Due to COVID-19, this project has had to change from meeting in venues and stitch workshops to remote kits, Facebook lives, a couple of park meet ups,  lots of image sharing and regular email check ins, and the creation of some ‘Woolly Wellness’ packs.

Although we have delayed the physical yarn bomb until at least Spring next year, we will be showcasing the stitched hearts and collected memories in a digital way as the project draws to a close in 2020.

Number of hearts stitched so far
Number of stitchers contributing so far

The Gallery

Below is a small selection of over 600 hearts which are up in the Gallery so far. See them all HERE


This project is funded through Neighbourhood Networks; a scheme which is about encouraging people who are retired, or in the lead up to retirement, to build up their social networks, keep active, and feel more connected in the areas they live.