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Judi Coe

The winning photo - Participants show off lampshades made from upcycled and donated fabrics

Shades of success

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A photograph of Sew Positive participants – showing off fabulous lampshades made from upcycled and donated fabrics – won the Cambridge Centre for Voluntary Services (CCVS) photo competition 2023!

Sew Positive won the People’s Vote with a wonderful photo taken after participants made lampshades at its Cultivate course funded by Cambridgeshire County Council. The photographer was Melissa Santiago Val, the charity’s founder and CEO.

This course was a Social Prescribing programme aimed at people over 65 who are at risk of social care need, involving the use creative of sewing, upcycling and crafts to address social isolation.

Needle little calm in your life? Try Sew Positive! – Cambridge Network

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A charity is helping share the wellbeing calm of creativity, one stitch at a time, thanks to grant funding support from South Cambridgeshire District Council.

Sew Positive is a small charity that hosts various classes and events bringing people together through sewing for positive mental health.

Their events have included a wellbeing creative day at Cambridge Central mosque, embroidery kit days at Shelford Library, and upcycling lampshades at the Hub in Cambourne by repurposing donated fabric.

Read the full article on the Cambridge Network here

denim planter

Make a planter workshops to calm your mind and help the planet

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It’s amazing what you can do with old clothes and textiles! Join Sew Positive to learn how to turn redundant fabric into an attractive plant holder.

Sew Positive – the Cambridge charity that uses sewing to support isolated people and help improve mental health – is offering two opportunities next month for you to come along with your unwanted fabric and go away with a useful planter for your home.

Learn to make your own upcycled denim planters using old jeans and a 2-litre plastic bottle. Come and take part in a fun, slow-stitching workshop to calm your mind and help the planet. Bring a clean 2-litre straight-sided soft drink bottle and your old denim (or it will be supplied). No sewing skills are needed!

The first free workshop takes place on Monday 23rd October from 2pm – 4pm  at Cambridge Grand Arcade, First Floor,  where Sew Positive is taking part in the week-long series of events called Let’s Go Circular 2023.  The workshop is preceded the same day by a taster ‘Sewcialise’ session (10am to 12 noon), where people are invited to bring their own sewing projects to work on in a friendly and supportive environment. This session is for people with basic sewing skills to mend or make their own projects (not alterations). Volunteers will also be on hand and selected upcycled materials provided.

Later that week, a second planter workshop is planned for Thursday 26th October from 2-5pm at Akeman Street Community Centre, where Sew Positive is involved in the Food for the Planet Festival.  The festival, organised by Cambridge City Council and Cambridge Sustainable Food, encourages people to grow their own food and make positive steps to tackle climate change at a personal level.

Book your place for any of these events at Sew Positive Linktree


Zhenya Nekrasova

Ukrainian refugee learns new skills thanks to sewing charity: South West Londoner

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A Ukrainian refugee was able to connect with the local community and join fellow refugees in learning new skills thanks to the efforts of Sew Positive, the Cambridge sewing charity, supported by The National Lottery.

Zhenya Nekrasova, 26, moved to Cambridgeshire in April 2022, away from her family and friends in Zaporizhzhya amid the ongoing conflict in her home country. Initially struggling with separation from her family and knowing no one in the local community, Nekrasova discovered Sew Positive after meeting charity founder Melissa Santiago-Val.

Read the full article in SW Londoner here

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