This project was funded by Selly Oak Neighbourhood Network Scheme.
Additional places were funded on this project by
During the winter and pandemic of 2020-21, we sent a dose of woolly wellness and some stitching activity for 120 people to enjoy in from their own home!
We wanted to help residents aged 50+ in Selly Oak Constituency (mainly from Brandwood & Kings Heath and Billesley areas) to feel more connected to each other during the lockdown as well as colder months. We also connected with a few stitchers from Edgbaston and Hall Green constituencies, thanks to a top up grant from neighbouring Neighbourhood Network Schemes.
In each Woolly Wellness box there were four canvas tiles, a variety of wools, stitch patterns and a needle. We also included a tea bag, biscuits, writing paper, envelope and a stamp. From month two of this five month project we also included a community magazine, to which the stitchers contributed stories, memories, what they had been up to during lockdown, craft projects, tips for good walks and book reviews! We loved receiving letters, emails and pictures. These were published each month.
The ‘mystery’ was that no one knew (except Tina) what they were stitching, and how the different designs of tiles fitted together into a sixteen-piece mural which the stitchers could keep. This was revealed in the final box. The designs were all inspired by Birmingham’s history, architecture or sculpture. There were lots of interesting guesses along the way!
Alongside the lovely box dropping on door mats each month, there were opportunities to meet online in Zoom calls and Facebook Live events. A private Facebook group for the project also kept people chatting and sharing pictures during the rest of the month.
We then also organised two ‘in person’ meet ups when restrictions allowed, and it was so good to finally meet some of our participants. A group have decided to continue meeting once a month in Billesley – and yes, they are still called the Mystery Stitchers!