Earlier this year Emmanuel House’s Women Group took part in an embroidery and sewing project for our Nottingham charity. Two workshops were led by Tilda Teekens, who was in her last year of an art degree at Nottingham Trent University.
11 women were involved in the workshops, which were facilitated by Tilda, who demonstrated all the techniques involved. She gave each woman a leaf-shaped segment with a word to create in their own style. We carefully selected each word to be associated with our beneficiaries’ experiences of using the service.
Thank you to Tilda for her expertise, equipment and guidance with sewing, enabling members of the group to learn and develop existing skills to create this beautiful wall art. The values of the centre were incorporated onto the leaves and petals of the flower to celebrate the heart of the work that happens across the centre with individuals and particularly within the social inclusion of the creative groups.
Tilda said: “Thank you so much for getting me involved with this project, it was a joy to run the sessions at Emmanuel House and great to put together all the beautiful embroideries. I would love to see what else the group make.”
The team responded with flexibility and creativity to the Coronavirus pandemic, by finding ways to continue to support its clients throughout the entire period of lockdown both remotely and practically.
The women involved in this project described the experience as ‘calming’, ‘enjoyable’ and described how it significantly helped with managing conditions of anxiety and depression. Since the project, the women have spoken highly of the skills and confidence they have gained, as well as the friendships they have made. The continuous support they received from the Wellbeing Support Team throughout lockdown and beyond has been vital to their wellbeing. Despite the lockdown, our Wellbeing Support Team ensured the group could continue to make their pieces. Our support workers dropped the resources off to members of the group that were self-isolating and when the women had completed their leaves, the team collected them up and sent them to Tilda (who now has graduated!) and she put the finished piece together.
Our support workers continued to reduce social isolation by maintaining telephone contact with the group, obtaining food parcels, offering emotional support and distraction packs as an aid to keeping positive and providing activities that they could do in the safety of their homes during such a distressing time.
Initially a six-week project for women who were homeless, set up in conjunction with our Wellbeing Support Team and Nonsuch Studios, our weekly Women’s Group has grown in both strength and numbers since its first session back in June 2018. Designed to encourage social interaction and offer a relaxed environment in which to express and explore different areas of interest, the weekly meet-up has experienced a variety of activities at our Nottingham charity.
The Wellbeing Support Team is funded by the National Lottery’s Reaching Communities fund. We are currently waiting to be able to apply for continuation funding for this vital service.
We hope to reintroduce the social inclusion groups at some point in the future as they are a vital way of building self esteem and developing new skills. The wellbeing support workers are currently arranging a session with a small number of the group at Emmanuel House Support Centre to see the finished piece and have a discussion around future activities. This may be possible in small socially distanced groups at Emmanuel house in the future. The wall art will soon be on display at Emmanuel House’s drop–in area.
For more information on Tilda’s workshops you can find her on Instagram @tildateekens.