Quilt SOS – The Journey to Hestia. Last week, we finally managed to personally deliver the Quilt SOS quilts to Hestia in Croydon. The wonderful Alice Caroline customers and staff have been making beautiful quilts for us to donate to the charity Hestia. Hestia are based in and around London and run refuges to help women and children. These women and children have been affected by domestic violence and are now re-building their lives with the support of the charity. We wanted to be able to give them a special gift this Christmas.
We made the journey to Croydon last week to deliver the 64 quilts that have kindly been donated by our customers. Some of our customers have even made up to four quilts which has been amazing. Initially, we were going to support the refuges in Croydon with 41 quilts, but we were inundated with quilts being delivered so we have been able to give quilts to those people in the Sutton refuges as well. In total, 64 quilts were delivered safely to Croydon last Thursday. Hestia are hoping to have the majority of the quilts distributed to the women and children by Christmas – wow what a lovely Christmas present to receive.
It’s not been quite the same as in previous years. For the past four years we have had to make a much longer journey overseas to deliver the quilts to one of the villages run by SOS Children’s Villages. This year, it was always going to be a much shorter journey to deliver to London. It wasn’t clear for a while if we would be able to deliver at all. The COVID19 restrictions and tier system in the UK meant for a while that we were unable to go, but as the restrictions were lifted slightly in December, we set a date for delivery. We met two very lovely women who work for Hestia in a street in Croydon. One of the women worked on the phone lines taking direct calls from women in need and the other, managed the running of some of the houses. We talked with them for some time, learning about the charity, daily life in a refuge and how life can be so hard for the women and children escaping abusers.
The lady who has worked for Hestia for 17 years told us something of the stories she has accumulated over the years. They run the Hestia refuge houses with fairly strict rules. The people entering the refuge must sign an agreement to be able to stay. Everyone has to take turns to do domestic duties and there is a strict no drugs, alcohol and visitor policy. This is to keep the women and children protected while they are trying to re-build their lives. Hestia provides them with food, shelter and advice on ‘how to move forward’ to build a new life for themselves. They also organise healthcare, housing, education and activities for the women and children.
The two women who work for Hestia thanked us (well you, the quilters) greatly for the 64 gorgeous quilts. They couldn’t believe how beautiful they were and how much work had been put into each and every one. They told us of how the women and children of the refuge houses were going to love the quilts. They have promised to send us some images of the people receiving the quilts – this cannot (for obvious reasons) be the faces of the women and children but we will share with you anything they do send to us. We came away with a sense of achievement for organising the project however, the true praise goes to everyone that has made a quilt whether in the past or this year. We are also delighted to say that, as a company, we have been able to make a substantial financial donation to the charity this year too. We are certainly hoping to run Quilt SOS again in 2021 and will let you know when we launch the project. So far, the Quilt SOS project has given 324 beautiful quilts to women and children in 5 different countries – that’s quite an achievement – thank you all so much!
Love Alice & Anna xoxo