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Durham University

Colleges & wider student experience

Student news

Music Durham – Bring a community together stitch by stitch.

(4 March 2021)

Thursday 8 March is University Mental Health Day, so provides the perfect opportunity to highlight the latest project from the student-led welfare team of Music Durham. Their latest project – ‘Stitching A Quilt of Community’, is being run in collaboration with local mental health charity, Durham based the RT project. It offers a unique opportunity for students and the local community to work together to create a unique artwork in the form of a quilt.

Contributors are being invited to submit decorated fabric squares that will be collected and sewn together to create a quilt. The finished item will be revealed at the Music Durham ‘Never Give Up’ concert to be held in May and then displayed in the University’s Music Department, before being handed over to RT Projects for permanent display at their offices.

Music Durham Welfare

Music Durham Welfare, runs welfare campaigns, and holds drop-in sessions for the Music Durham student community. While not being able to hold these sessions physically during lockdown, they have continued to champion mental health and safeguarding for all students. The RT projects organises art therapy sessions to provide mental health support for people affected by depression, anxiety and those at risk of committing suicide. All donations and proceedings from the quilt will go to RT projects.

Project organizer Hana Fujii-Bennet, explained; “The project aims to show that through collaboration, we are more capable of providing relevant emotional support and helping people to overcome the loneliness during isolation. The message behind our project is that regardless of the current circumstances that put us off from performing together, we can still make art as a team. Most of all, we aim to stitch these squares of hopes into a quilt that symbolises unity.”

Step by step instructions

To encourage as many people as possible to take part, Music Durham Welfare have even created a short video explaining how to make and decorate a square for the quilt which can be viewed on their Facebook page.

First of all, choose an old piece of clothing, whether it be clothing or a pillowcase. Cut a 15cm x 15cm square from the fabric. Leave a 2cm distance from the sides of the square, his gives you a 13cmx13cm space within the square to draw on. Get as creative as you can while decorating the square with embroidery, crocheting, colouring, drawing or sticking things on. Music Durham Welfare will set up multiple drop-off points during the final week of the term when squares will be collected.

Anyone who is interested in taking part but does not have relevant materials, has the option to request squares of fabric to decorate, or send in a square by post. And anyone who is not handy with a needle and thread can still be involved by sponsoring a square, with all donations going to the RT Project. 

Sign up to stitch

Music Durham Welfare are asking anyone interested in submitting a square to be included in the quilt, to complete an online form using this link: https://forms.gle/fhf1DhfLhdXeSXpM9 to help them gauge the number of squares and size of the quilt.

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