Anna and I delivered the Quilt SOS quilts to their new homes yesterday at the two chosen charities for this year GARAS (Gloucestershire Action for Refugees & Asylum Seekers) and The Nelson Trust. In total, 38 quilts were delivered and will be distributed over the next few days.
Pictured above: On the left Myself with Beanie Cooke from The Nelson Trust. On the right: Myself with Ismail Ali and Adele Owen.
We had a much shorter journey this year. Due to Covid we decided earlier on this year to keep the charities local so that it would be easier to deliver them if restrictions were still in place. It wasn’t one of the massive road trips we have undertaken in previous years but it was just as interesting and successful. Our first stop was GARAS in the local city of Gloucester. We had bagged up 19 quilts to had over and met with the director, Adele Owen and Ismail Ali, the UK RS Team Leader, to hear about some of the work they do. Ismail told us about the Afghan project he is working on to rehouse the Gloucestershire allocation of refugee families into new homes. GARAS is working very hard to rehouse 35 families that are currently living in bridging hotels across the country. His job is to source houses, negotiate with landlords, organise the huge job of making the houses habitable to include things like pots and pans, cutlery, crockery and all of the essential things a house might need to house a family that is starting out afresh. Ismail said that his job was to make it a house and the family could then make it a home. These quilts will start that process off as they are so beautiful and will brighten the colour of the house when the refugees arrive.
Above left: outside Gloucester Cathedral. Above right: Outside of the GARAS charity.
After leaving GARAS, we thought a quick trip to Gloucester Cathedral with some quilts would be fun to take some pictures. Then we headed off to Stroud to meet the people from The Nelson Trust. We met with Beanie, Michelle and Esme who work for the Trust as well as some of the house representatives who were taking the quilts back to the clients living in the houses. The Nelson Trust is a charity that brings belief, hope and long-term recovery to people whose lives have been torn apart by addiction and the multiple and complex needs that come with it.
The reaction of both charities was that the quilts were extremely beautiful and generous gift from the quilters that have made them. We are hoping to get some comments from the clients at The Nelson Trust when they receive their quilt. We will share these with you when we receive them.
We all love the messages that you write on the quilts. People seeing the quilts for the first time always pick these out. These will hopefully help people to feel connected in some way to the quilter and to feel like they are supported in their new home or venture.
Anna and I love working on this project. It’s one of the parts of the job that brings a smile both when the quilts are received in the studio as well as the trip to take them to their forever homes. Thank you so much to each person that has made a quilt both this year and in past years too. Through the Quilt SOS project, we have now given away 362 quilts to women and children that are in vulnerable positions in the UK and in Europe.
Some of the amazing Alice Caroline team. We love this shot of all of us having a Quilty hug.
Your quilts look great all together on our fences and Cotswold stone walls. Once again – a huge thank you to everyone that made a quilt – we are all so grateful. xoxo