Down in Greater London, Cheam and Sutton Rotary Club have set up a sewing project with the aim of helping the environment and teaching local residents a new skill.
The club had previously ran small sewing groups with an environmental focus and wanted to take the environmental initiative of ‘reusing, repairing and consuming less’ a step further by involving the whole community.
The vision for the project was to give an opportunity to people in the community who lack access to resources so they can learn important skills in sewing, repairing and making fabric items from household goods and clothing.
These sewing classes have been a genuine life saver for me personally.”
Cheam and Sutton Rotary applied for a grant from the National Lottery Community Fund under their ‘Together for Our Planet’ drive and received £5,200 to cover one year of lessons with the requirement of teaching 8 students a new skill in sewing.
The students taking part in the project, which became known as ‘The Tuesday Club’, came from local charities like Sutton Homestart and Sutton Mental Health Foundation.
The club made sure to make full use of local resources for the project, hiring a nearby sewing studio and local instructor to hold the classes as well as organising the collection and repair of broken sewing machines using a local repair shop.
They made sure to give a sewing machine to any student who was not able to purchase one themselves so they were able to practice at home.
After nearly a year of lessons, the students are now able to confidently sew by hand as well as with a sewing machine and know how to use discarded fabric to make new items.
A regular student of ‘The Tuesday Club’ commented: “These sewing classes have been a genuine life saver for me personally. They came at a period where I was at an all-time low, struggling with my health as well as financially.
“I am also very proud that at its core, the sewing classes are aligned to my own values of minimal waste and sustainable living.”
Another said: “I have learnt so much on this sewing course – from a total beginner to being able to use a sewing machine and mend and alter clothes.
“What I have learnt is a great and worthwhile use of lottery funding secured by Cheam and Sutton Rotary.”