October Meeting AGM & Fine Cell Work

Our October meeting was well attended, and, kicked off with a lively and enjoyable members’ session led by Liz Ellis, we look forward to seeing some interesting stitch samples next month, watch this space!

Our AGM started at 2pm and was efficiently concluded in less than 20 minutes!! We said our goodbyes to long serving and hard working committee members; Jane Aldridge, Juliet Fellick, Susie Luke and Barbara Wright,  thanked Angela Mc Cthumb_IMG_1379_1024auley for all her work with the Young Embroiderers (as she now steps down), thanked Jill Christison for her work with the monthly raffle and welcomed two new committee members – Jill Christison (as programme secretary) and Sandra Ruddock (member “without portfolio”!). Jane Aldridge will continue her sterling work at the sales table and Barbara Shepherd will replace Barbara Wright as Workshop Bookings Secretary.

We then welcomed Rosemary McIntosh from Fine Cell Work to talk about the organisation and her voluntary role within it.

Rosemary McIntosh from Fine Cell Work with a beautiful geometric cushion in the foreground!

Rosemary McIntosh from Fine Cell Work with a beautiful geometric cushion in the foreground!

The talk was fascinating – we heard how Fine Cell Work trains prisoners in paid, skilled, creative needlework undertaken in the long hours spent in their cells to foster hope, discipline and self esteem. This helps them to connect to society and to leave prison with the confidence and financial means to stop offending. It was the brain child and vision of Lady Anne Tree.

As stitchers we could all imagine that, rule one, in order to be able to stitch you can’t be angry, and if you are locked up in a very small space (Rosemary suggested imagining the size of your bathroom!) for 17 hours a day then stitching could become quite a solace. The Fine Cell Work programme takes the prisoners through three grades of stitching proficiency and they all learn canvas work, embroidery and quilting.

Some of the products being admired!

Some of the products being admired!

It was a really interesting talk and such a worthwhile organisation – for more information please see their web-site http://www.finecellwork.co.uk

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