Wiltshire Publications

Dilton sewing day helps refugee women

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A GROUP of local women from Dilton Marsh recently held a sewing day, making reusable sanitary towels as part of a project which aims to provide them for refugees. 

On behalf of the group Sonja Harris said, “It is said that sewing mends the soul, and that was certainly the case in Dilton Marsh on Saturday 16th October. Twenty-three women met up in the Memorial Hall, bringing with them sewing machines, scissors, large quantities of fabrics … and an iron and ironing board. The aim of the day was to make reusable sanitary towels for the Pachamama Project, which helps women and girl refugees out of period poverty. Set up by two Bristol University students during the Covid pandemic, the project focuses on providing sanitary products for these vulnerable female groups, many of whom arrive on foreign shores with nothing to their name.  

“The sewing day was the brainchild of Lynne Vercoe, who helped to organise Dilton Marsh’s yarn bombs that centred on Fairfield Farm College café. She felt the creative village community could once again rise to the occasion, but this time turning their hands to sewing rather than knitting in aid of the project. On the Saturday, with volunteers coming from the village, Westbury, Upton Scudamore and beyond, Sally Esposito organised the women into groups of machinists, fabric cutters and ironers, while not forgetting the all-important refreshment crew.  

“The project had provided templates for cutting the three different sorts of fabric – anti-pill fleece, thin towelling and cotton material – and Sally had already made up several items as examples. And so the production line began; machines whirred, the iron steamed and scissors snipped. In total, 90 sanitary towels were produced on the day, together with bags to contain the towels, and the final number will doubtless be higher as some women took away the remaining material kits to finish at home. Feedback from the event was very positive and it is anticipated another sewing day will be held in due course. 

“Thanks go to all those who volunteered; Tess, Sonja, Sally, Penny H, Penny B, Maureen, Helen, Helena, Caroline, Nadine, Linda, Enid, Eunice, Sue, Paula, Janet, Yvette, Ruth, Maeve, Serana, Jane, Menna and Debbie, and to those people who donated material and provided the refreshments.” 

For more information on the Pachamama project and to see how you can get involved, visit: www.thepachamamaproject.org/