Grenfell Update

Thank you all, all members, and friends, who so generously donated quilts of all shapes and sizes in response to my plea for quilts for the Grenfell fire victims. We have to date managed to collect 150 – quite amazing. After my request in June at our Summer Day meeting, not a week went by without someone wanting more information. Quilts take time to put together and quilt, so I had asked for them to be handed in at our Christmas meeting in November.

One or two local groups dropped quilts in to me before this date so this enabled us to pursue our connection for distribution. Unfortunately due to ill health, our contact in London could not continue, which left us with quite a dilemma. I had always vowed I would not allow quilts to be sent to a third party, for them to be distributed by others. We had all heard various stories about quilts from other sources that had been sold or were just being stored in boxes.

I was very lucky, through Radio Cornwall, to manage get in touch with Esme Page – founder of Cornwall Hugs Grenfell. I met up with Esme, who, within a few weeks of contact was organizing a group visit. Luckily we had some quilts and these I took to show her and discuss a way forward. Please visit the above website if you are able, to read about the founding of this project and catch up with the latest happenings. You will also be able to see most of the quilts you have donated. I photograph and label all the quilts and the photos are put on CHG website by Polly, one of Esme’s team.

Never thought for a moment I would be asked to speak on South West Quilters behalf on the radio, but after three interviews somehow have managed to cope with the anxiety of spontaneity. This led to a short TV interview, where Lynda and myself were featured handing over quilts to the families that were down in Cornwall at that time. This was a most humbling experience, which Lynda and I will never forget. We met another much larger group of families later in the year, where, once again, more quilts were chosen and given much to the squeals and delight of mothers and children alike.

Fast forward to now. The next wave of families is due at Easter time and over this coming year some 400 family members and first responders have applied to come down. In the meantime all your quilts are safely with me, to be given at a moments notice.

Val Thomas has donated three smaller quilts to be raffled at Craft 4 Crafters at Westpoint, Exeter, 15th-17th February. Money raised will be donated to Cornwall Hugs Grenfell to help the fund for transport costs. A brilliant idea thought of by our Devon members. I do so thank them most sincerely.

Next instalment and update at the AGM in April. Once again a huge thank you to you all.

Jenni Milne

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