Hackney locals unveil community quilt

Photo: Nali Sivathasan

A quilt created by 160 locals was unveiled as part of a ‘Celebrating Community 2010’ event at St Joseph’s Hospice, Hackney, on Tuesday.

Organised by Social Action for Health (SAfH) and St Joseph’s Hospice, the aim of the event was to bring together local communities and hospice groups to help them share their experiences. Despite the poor weather, young and old people from Hackney’s diverse population filled the Finding Space area at St Joseph’s Hospice. Maureen Pett, a hospice volunteer who helped make the quilt, said: “It’s been a really good turnout today, despite the horrible weather. I can’t wait to see the quilt, especially my patch.”

Locals were invited to attend a number of workshops, including henna hand painting and exercise workshops for men. A song-writing workshop presented its ‘community song’ to the audience, which included words in the many languages spoken by members of the Hackney community.

Pat Johnson, a resident of Victoria Park, praised the work of SAfH and St Joseph’s Hospice: “They really make you feel like you have a purpose and a place in the community. They were so nice to me and took me on board when I wanted to join in with their activities.”

SAfH is a community development charity that works with marginalised local people and their communities in East London. Vivi Boucher, one of the SAfH organisers, said that the focus of the event was the unveiling of the community quilt: “It’s the work of 160 people, some from within the community at St Joseph’s Hospice and some from the outside community. This includes members of the Turkish, Kurdish, Bengali, Somali and Caribbean communities.”

Ms Boucher added that today’s event was a way for people to express their life experiences and listen to other peoples’ stories: “Some people have deep issues of grief and loss but this is a celebration of community.”

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