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Community banner project shows Skelmersdale is sew fabulous!

People from across Skelmersdale are being invited to take part in an exciting project to sew a huge tapestry banner celebrating all that’s good about their community – and improve their health and wellbeing in the process.

The Sewing Rooms, a partner in Well Skelmersdale, has received funding of £8,250 from The Big Lottery Fund to support a series of two hour ‘Skelmersdale Sew Fab Extravaganza Project’ events. These will be held in a variety of community venues and health centres across the town so that everyone who wants to participate can do so. People of all ages will be encouraged to sew a small leaf, flower, or letter made from fabric onto the main tapestry banner.

“During the events we will actively encourage participants to do mindful sewing,” explained Paula Gamester, co-founder of The Sewing Rooms, a social enterprise which helps people improve their health, wellbeing and job prospects through learning sewing skills.

“We will have soothing music playing in the background to create a calming experience for the participants, encouraging them to concentrate on the task in hand and to be in the moment. The end product will be a magnificent tapestry banner made out of textiles that celebrates Skelmersdale and depicts the town, our people and community in a positive way.”

The theme of the banner is ‘Take Notice’ which is one of the New Economics Foundation’s ‘Five ways to wellbeing’. Paula hopes the finished banner will be displayed in the Sandy Lane Health Centre, and unveiled at a special celebration to which all the participants plus civic dignitaries will be invited.

“We are so excited about this project and feel that it is an amazing way to bring the community together, helping people to learn new skills and contribute to a work of art that will be seen and celebrated in years to come by the whole community, ”said Paula.

Added Sam Tunney, Chief Executive of Well North: “Well done to Paula on having such a great idea and for getting the support of The Big Lottery Fund. This is a brilliant example of social prescribing, and the proven benefits* it can bring to individuals and communities.

“Apart from the obvious benefits that learning the skill of sewing brings in terms of being able to make do and mend and so save money, sewing allows people to relax from the everyday pressures of life; and enhances their self esteem when they demonstrate their creativity.”

For more information please contact Paula Gamester at

*No longer passed down from generation to generation, the art of sewing is a dying skill. Yet it has been identified that things like sewing are forms of occupational therapy and contribute towards an individual's happiness. (Source: Psychiatric Quarterly, Vol 9, Num 3 BF01563817).