Year 9 students from Highcliffe School in Christchurch, Dorset, have found a creative way of showing their support for Big Issue vendors near them. Aware that cold weather can have a huge impact on many homeless people, the students decided to make a beautiful, warm quilt using recycled materials that had been donated to their school.
Showing great passion and dedication, the students met each Friday after school to design the blanket then create decorative squares that they could sew together to make a patchwork quilt. This allowed the students to develop their textile skills while supporting a cause that matters to them.
Esther from Highcliffe School told us:
“We had seen people selling the magazines around Christchurch and Highcliffe and once we realised the story behind the magazine we were inspired to make something that can help them or others in the same situation. We decided to make a blanket out of recycled material that had been donated to Highcliffe School, so that when homeless people are outside, particularly at night or in winter, they are warm. Most of us take for granted that we have a warm house and a bed to sleep in every night and can sometimes forget that there are others who are not as fortunate as us, so we hope that this blanket will make someone who needs it smile.”
The Big Issue Foundation’s team in nearby Bournemouth supports Big Issue vendors in the local area by connecting them to the vital support and specialist services that enable them to rebuild their lives. Bill, a former vendor from Bournemouth, was supported by our Service Brokers to find a safe home. He has gone on to work at the local Poole Hill Brewery, with his contribution to Bournemouth being recognised in March 2019 with the BH Stars Rising Star Award.
The compassion and ingenuity of young people like the students from Highcliffe School makes us at The Big Issue Foundation so hopeful about the future of social change in the UK. Thank you to everybody involved!