We are pleased to confirm that we were successful in receiving a grant from Awards for All (Big Lottery) to fund our Cross Border Stitching project in Southampton. This project enables us to support 17 female asylum seekers and migrants develop new skills and gain qualifications.
Although our core work previously has been the development of livelihood skills to people in the Philippines, this is one of our first projects in the UK. This is significantly different from our previous progammes which offer livelihood skills, insofar as we are primarily delivering accredited qualifications, for example Textiles, Employability and Functional Skills such as English and Maths.
We have found through discussion, that many migrants or asylum seekers often feel cut off and isolated from their new community. Our project serves to provide free and informal sessions for refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants in a welcoming, friendly and safe space where people can meet others and receive support.
There is a real need to help people whose first language is not English and may feel isolated. Cross Border Stitching helps people gain skills and confidence and increase their friendship network and therefore reduces isolation.
This wonderful project is about supporting people in all areas of their lives and participation and involvement is strongly encouraged. The participants meet twice weekly, from 10:00 until 13:00 and have the opportunity to gain qualifications, learn sewing and craft skills, in addition to functional skills.
The sessions are delivered in a relaxed and friendly environment, providing an opportunity to meet new people and develop relationships. The grant has enabled us to buy 2 sewing machines, materials and fabrics, in addition (although primarily supported by volunteers), to hire trainers to deliver some of the learning modules.
So far the women have learnt to make Christmas decorations, clothing’s, cloth bags and most recently are making water resistant mats from plastic bags which will be donated to a homeless shelter in Southampton. Other items made in session will be sold to support a future programme in Pakistan.
So keep your eye on our online shop (www.p-c-f.org/shop) as these new products will be added very soon.