How did we measure up!?
What a brilliant day!! Today we saw SOS officially in its new home – Hafan Y Coed (llandough hospital). It is hung proudly in 2 parts within the safe enclosure of a conference room – it will still be on view, but slightly more protected due to its delicate elements/fabric potentially.
Seeing it was amazing, I beamed with pride! It’s still quite surreal to think where it came from, but amazingly so.
The day started very well as I met my dear friend (who I only actually met through SOS when she attended the first stitching session in St Fagan’s! So SOS has given me so much more, a dear friend – well several in fact!), Annalise. We caught up in the snazzy new café on everything from life to shoes! Then we were joined by my brilliant sister (who coordinated her nails to her top – was noted Hayley!) and my wonderful dad – it made me so happy that these 3 key elements of my life, and sos were here to see it launch. Of course, ideally I’d have loved EVERYONE to be there, but for various reasons I completely understand this wasn’t possible (maybe if anyone does SOS part 2 they could create a Tardis to transport everyone or a new national holiday so no one has to work!!?!??! Saying that I guess someone works everyday if in services etc.…. anyhow, I digress….).
We made our way over to the fresh new snazzy build and instantly it was a ‘boom’ of ‘wow’s!’ for me. I saw the smiling Simone who I have to give special thanks to, without her kind commission, without her kind support/encouragement and without her incredible patience and skill, SOS wouldn’t have been possible. The new build wouldn’t have been possible. Having spent time in other units, I can safely say this one looks incredible. At the front is a ‘tree’ which we were all encouraged to write a message on about how the building made us feel today – this is something (having spoken to the creator) that they will be continuing for patients/relations too – a marvellous idea… I can’t remember exactly what I wrote, but to me the unit was calming, clean/fresh, hopeful and positive, it was spacious and yet somehow comfortingly homely. The art work was so diverse but so positive and it made such a nice change to see such colour and talent spanning across every wall. I felt this unit would be a wonderfully positive place to begin a road to recovery, as I’m sure many people who walk through the doors will do with the support of the team. I spoke to a lady who told me the wards were ensuite singles and looked brilliant, like a hotel, I commented that this is how it should be, people who are already undergoing such turmoil and have been uprooted potentially from a home to undergo potentially challenging treatment, deserve a good environment to facilitate this. Well done all involved! I hope it proves to ‘blossom’…
It was a buzzing atmosphere, happy chatter, lots of suits (!) and smart people, lots of smiles, lots of hand shakes, lots of hello’s….it was brilliant.
I met Mark (of making minds charity) finally having spoken online for some time. I also met 2 fab SOS contributors whose kind words of how proud they were to be part of it and how they found seeing it, made it so much more worthwhile! Lovely to put a face to the squares too! Thank you for coming all this way!
We were ushered upstairs (by very patient people!!) to see more of the wonderful work and hear the speeches. SOS was the only pieces of art work in the room we had the speeches in and it did get a few special mentions in the speeches which I found touching.
It was wonderful to see/hear people comment on SOS, and believe me they did. Hayley and Annalise kindly talked about it too and it was fabulous to hear different perspectives on it and lots of positivity! Guys – you are amazing clearly!!!
I was sad to leave it, in a way, it’s been such a big proud part of my life for the past two years, as I’m sure it has been for others. But, as with lots of things, we must move forward. Thanks to Simone it will remain hung with pride for admiration, for some time to follow and perhaps will inspire others to ‘do their own sos’ (if so, brilliant and let us know as I’m sure a few of us would like to do another square – although Kath and Annalise am I right in thinking you possibly don’t want to sew another 50?!?)
Obviously it goes without saying that it is thanks to everyone whose contributed and supported it, that today was even possible. Looking back, it could have easily been another one of my random ‘flash in the pan’ ideas – but amazingly it blossomed – maybe the Audrey square is right ‘nothing Is impossible…’
I definitely think we met the original goals – of connecting people, enabling the therapeutic use of craft and revealing some of the hidden truths of sadly stigmatised conditions.
Hayley is going to post the written pieces on the blog for all to see, these were an amazing part of the project too. I created a scrapbook showing off SOS too, sadly due to my poor timing I feel I let you all down as I confess they didn’t end up being displayed today – but I’m hoping they will be following today’s events…
So, there isn’t much more to say – please all be proud of what you’ve been part of, what you’ve made possible, I’m proud of us all and I award each of you a virtual ‘hand sewn’ bouquet of buttons (flowers are so over rated right!??!) lol – thanks for being super trooper stitchers!
P.S facebook group has lots of photo’s from me and I believe annalise will be adding some – but also I think the official ones will surface somewhere too I hope!