Stitch For Change is a project that responds to the current public health crisis by creating an online space for people to come together and find a collective voice.
We are currently experiencing a collective trauma unlike anything this country has experienced since World War 2. But unlike that war, when citizens were mobilised to take action and fight in the war effort, either on the front line of defence, or working together on the home front, in this situation we are asked to isolate from others and stay indoors. And this situation is shared, to different degrees, right across the world through this pandemic crisis.
Social Distancing, isolation, lockdown – the anticipation of this provoked panic buying, while the lack of clear information and the increasing number of Covid 19 deaths, mean many people are living in fear and anxiety.
So many messages are circulating, through news channels, social media feeds, public health messages and local rumours, It’s hard to know who to trust, where to find facts, what to do? Large numbers of people are furloughed from their jobs, or losing casual or self-employed work and income, while children are off school. We are contained at home – some in cramped, irritable conditions, others in anxious isolation. From here we witness as civil liberties are apparently being lost – sitting in the park becomes a crime, dropping packages for a neighbour arouses suspicion and those exhausted from caring are not being given the life-saving protection they need, for the vital work they do.
At the same time we are witnessing communities come together to help each other through this crisis. Citizens making the much needed protective equipment for key workers, volunteering to help people in isolation, teachers organising packed lunches for children to ensure they won’t go hungry, food banks delivering food to the people who do not have the money or means to go shopping.
People desperately need the opportunity to express the tumult of feelings that accompany such an unprecedented crisis. To express all the complex things they feel, to share this with others, to make a difference and be heard. Stich for Change will bring people together to co-create a hand-stitched response, both individual and collective, unique and universal.
This project offers an open and a safe space for participants who may want to express their dissent towards the Government, to hold it to account for decisions made, actions not taken or suffering endured, or to speak out against greed, selfishness, corruption and the inequality this situation has so starkly highlighted.