We are all currently going through a terrible time with ‘The’ virus and it is affecting the lives of so many people. Not least those who have lost loved ones and those who are suffering. Our magnificent frontline NHS staff, that are the caring for our families and friends, are experiencing things we will never witness nor will ever understand the full impact on their own mental health.

I know from personal experience as a serving Police Office , that when the aftershock sets in, you need to talk and get support and counselling and that is when you need something to hold onto, that feels tangible and safe. That is where your stash comes in. A quilt fills this need so well.

That is why I have started to make as many quilts as I can from my own stash – and yes I appreciate it is a large stash, having just stopped quilting for customers. However, we quilters all have a stash that we can use, that could make one quilt. I posted that I was doing this on my personal page and the response to me was such that I decide to create a group so that it could be coordinated countrywide and we could deliver quilts to hospital staff in our own local hospitals. Together with a few friends we started Quilts4Carers – Support your NHS. This is the Facebook link. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1089777914740188/

What is this group then? I hear you say.

We know that everyone is under restrictions of travel and no unnecessary journeys and that is why we have put rules in for this in order to protect the NHS and yourselves, and not compound any of the issues.

We are asking you to make one completed quilt – pieced, quilted and bound, with a minimum size of 40 x 40. This must be from your stash ONLY. Just the one, but if you want to make more than one that would be fantastic! All you have to do is then hold onto your quilt until the group gives instructions where to send them for your own area. Again, this is to reduce the non-essential journeys and protect everyone.

Completed quilts only will be accepted – the piecing and quilting can be as simple as you wish – 4 patch, 9 patch or more complex – whatever you wish to do, and the quilting can also be as simple as straight lines. We are not asking for anything that is complicated, and if you are stuck for a piecing design then there are lots of free ones out there, especially on the sites of fabric designers.

We will be asking for volunteers to become a coordinator for specific areas and make contact with their local hospitals to arrange both collection from the makers, and delivery to the hospitals. The hospital contact will be strictly controlled as we need the quilts to go to specific departments where counselling and support is arranged.

All your quilts will then be sent to a coordinator for delivery to the hospitals as and when it is deemed safe to travel and make more journeys but not before.

We hope that these restrictions make sense to you all and you can understand why they are in place.

WE MUST EMPHASISE WE ARE NOT A CHARITY – WE ARE NOT ASKING FOR DONATIONS OF SUPPLIES NOR ARE WE FUNDRAISING. We are simply asking that you use some of the stash that has been sat there without a purpose for a while, but which could make all the difference to a health worker who may be struggling and needs a hug from the country, that they can hold close.

If you cannot take part yourself but know others that might be interested, please pass them our details. If they are not a Facebook user then no problem, they can contact us at [email protected]

We hope to see many of you on the group and thank you for reading and I hope you all stay safe and well.