Stitch in time to help the homeless

Shelagh Legrave, left, with Blanket Angels founder Anna Stephenson-Knight and Chichester College deputy principal Andrew Green with one of the blankets made during the day
Shelagh Legrave, left, with Blanket Angels founder Anna Stephenson-Knight and Chichester College deputy principal Andrew Green with one of the blankets made during the day

Staff and students at Chichester College have been busy stitching and sewing to help homeless people.

They have been working with the Arundel-based Blanket Angels project to transform grey packing blankets into brightly-coloured winter warmers for homeless people in the area.

The revitalised blankets include labels with information about shelters and organisations that can offer help or support.

Blanket Angels was set up by Anna Stephenson-Knight six months ago with the help of sewing clubs in the area.

The Chichester College team made 57 blankets in one day.

Anna said: “I’ve been really pleased by the response from the college.

“All day, people have been dropping in to design and make blankets – including people who have never used a sewing machine.

“I’m amazed we have made so many, I’m really grateful to all the staff and students who have given up their time for us.

“These are more than just blankets – each one sees people putting a little bit of love and care into making them, which hopefully will provide a little bit of comfort as well as warmth.”

Abi Lomax, a second-year fashion and textiles student, said it was a great thing to be able to help with.

“It’s really nice to be able to put our skills to good use by helping other people,” she added.

Andy Burgess, student enrichment officer, was among those sewing for the first-time.

He said: “This is the first time I’ve used a sewing machine and it has been a bit tricky. It’s for a really good cause, so I just wanted to help.”

Principal Shelagh Legrave also joined the crew.

She said: “I think my mother would be shocked to see me at a sewing machine.

“As a college we pride ourselves on our community involvement and enjoy helping out with projects like this one where we can.

“As the chairman of trustees for Stonepillow, this is a cause that is close to my heart and I know how much of a difference one of these could make.”

Have you checked out our new Christmas section yet?

It’s packed with ideas and tips to ensure you make the most out of the festive season.

There’s recipes, suggestions for presents and everything from choosing your tree to recycling your packaging and paper.

Go to www.chichester.co.uk/christmas/