Success stories and endorsements

Talent Match participants find employment
The Sewing Rooms team is proud to announce that eight out of 10 of the young people that have completed the Talent Match program have already found employment. Our course combined hands-on education, including sewing machine mechanic maintenance, with more introspective wellbeing training, helping the students to increase their confidence, earn their three certificates of completion and progress their plans of finding a job or creating their own small business.

Watch what our tutors have to say about the amazing progress they saw in the students.

16 March 2017

Using social impact for commercial sustainability
Many larger organisations are eager to find ways to give back to local communities while many charity and social enterprise organisations seek paths for expansion, yet neither know exactly how to meet the other. In such cases, social impact reports can be extremely helpful in bridging that information gap.

The Sewing Rooms discovered this recently after the social impact report written by Founder and Director Paula Gamester led to a new contract with commercial organisation Panaz. This type of successful collaboration has been used as a case study by SEE Rural, a collaborative project between the University of Cumbria, Manchester Metropolitan University and Edge Hill University looking at social enterprise and entrepreneurship in rural communities. Read more >>>
20 July 2015

Making a powerful and empowering difference
Dr Iyabo Fatimilehin, a Consultant Clinical Psychologist, visited The Sewing Rooms at the Edith Rigby Bail Hostel to observe the sewing workshops in action. “I was extremely impressed with the session and with the impact the sewing classes have on the self-esteem and self-perception of the women.”

He noted in his review that the combination of learning while being creative “allowed them to connect to a positive vision of their future; the impact of this on their mental health and well-being will be significant.” He also noted that a major advantage of The Sewing Rooms’ approach is that “it is non-stigmatising.” Read more >>>
26 Febuary 2015

Making a difference – Layla’s story
My name is Layla Nolan and I’m a trainee curtain-maker at The Sewing Rooms. I started volunteering here one day a week in July 2013 in the hope that it would help to improve the depression and severe anxiety that I’d been struggling with for a number of years.

During my time here, my mood and self-esteem have noticeably improved. I actually look forward to each day now and am building a wide range of practical skills. This is due in no small part to the fantastic staff and the people who work here. Everyone has been so patient, understanding and supportive.

I am so grateful that there was a place like this that I could become involved with, as I have absolutely no doubt that without it, I would still be trapped at home. Read more >>>
29 January 2015

Committed to buying social
The Sewing Rooms team recently completed a new set of cushions for the Blackburne House Nursery, and managers Kate Lowry and Debi Harnok said, “We’re delighted with The Sewing Rooms’ work and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them.

“We’re particularly delighted to have commissioned a social enterprise as we are committed to buying social!”
14 December 2014

Creative upcycling
Our sewing team made the blackbird outfit that is featured in the new Twootz ad that is now airing.

Stephen Fletcher, from 20ten Entertainment, said, “The Sewing Rooms were tasked with making a huge bird suit for a Twootz advert we were shooting.

“In record time they designed, produced and delivered the perfect costume.

“They really saved the day. Thanks!” Read more >>>
18 November 2014

Life-changing support and education
Working with unemployed women staying in Edith Rigby House in Preston, a bail hostel for women awaiting either custodial sentences or for release from prison, The Sewing Rooms’ first project of this sort was declared to be “an outstanding success.”

Edith Rigby House is one of only six bail hostels for women in England, and as such, offers a unique opportunity to provide innovative, creative education and employment support. Read more >>>
1 November 2014

Improving wellbeing
The Sewing Rooms is extremely pleased to have successfully delivered yet another project that made a positive difference to the lives of members of our local community.

Good quality housing is an essential aspect of health and wellbeing, which is why we were very happy to be asked to partner with the Liverpool Housing Trust (LHT) to help revamp some of their properties using products made by our social enterprise sewing academy. Read more >>>
20 October 2014

An outstanding success
Following completion of the first of our sewing programmes that are held in Edith Rigby House, Preston – a bail hostel for women either awaiting custodial sentences or waiting to be released from prison – we received fantastic confirmation of our belief in the transformative power of creativity and sewing.

A Lancashire Probation Service Hostel Manager said, “I wanted to offer some feedback on the sewing project you implemented at Edith Rigby House.

“The sewing project was an outstanding success!

“Residents engaged in purposeful activity and spoke very highly of their experience. Read more >>>
22 September 2014

Working with Panaz
In the first six months of working with Panaz, The Sewing Rooms were able to support five women and six men, all of whom were isolated and at risk of developing mental health problems, in using up-cycled fabric to revitalise used furniture and sew a number of soft home furnishings for several local organisations and families.

In total, we:

  • Made 30 cushion covers and sold them through our store, using the money to buy lunches, tea and coffee for volunteers
  • Provided six families living in crisis accommodation with sets of soft home furnishings
  • Diverted 100 roll-ends of fabric from landfill
  • Helped 11 people learn new skills, make new social connections and gain increased self-confidence
  • Covered upcycled dining chairs for re-sale

Growing creativity
Catherine’s involvement with The Sewing Rooms started with two hours a week. She has a passion for sewing, but wasn’t confident in her abilities and in working with others. Gradually, through the support of everyone on the Sewing Rooms team, her creativity bloomed, and using donated fabric, made cushions and throws for Blackburne House in Liverpool, a leading social enterprise specialising in training, education and consultancy services.

Catherine now attends The Sewing Rooms every day, and says, “It’s been a life saver for me.

“I really enjoy being around other people, connecting and doing something that I enjoy, and ultimately, helping others.”

She has continued to develop her skills and confidence and recently began attending a farmer’s market where she speaks to people about The Sewing Rooms and the social enterprise hub at Gladden House.

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