download-16Watching the tragic events of 2015 unfold upon the beaches of Greece and spread through Europe from the comfort of their seaside homes, local businesswomen Jane Grimshaw and Anna Winston felt they had to do something to help. Anna’s the owner of La La Rookh sewing workshop and Jane runs a theatrical costumes business, all they can do is sew. Can stitching really help? Apparently yes, and so the concept of sewing for the greater good was born.

Teaming up with Hastings Supports Refugees, a group Jane had helped set up earlier in the year, they put on a bird-making workshop. Birds are often seen as symbols of hope and peace so they are the perfect choice of mascot. A group of 45 volunteers rallied to make the little cloth birds that are just big enough to fit in the palms and pockets of refugee children, providing comfort as they make their long and difficult journeys to safety.

The response to the workshop was overwhelming, the result being a big box of birds being sent off to Leros, Greece, along with the shipment of children’s clothing and shoes Hastings Supports Refugees sent in early December. The idea grew wings… and became A Bird in the Hand Project.
As well as bird-making workshops, they have with the help of volunteers put together make-your-own kits that sell for £5. The money generated will be used to provide art therapy kits for refugees and help bolster Hastings Supports Refugees’ work in responding to this ongoing crisis. The kits are available from La La Rookh, 3 Marine Court, St Leonards.

There are upcoming bird making workshops on 18th February at 11am (for children) and 25th February from 7 pm (for adults), both at the Observer Building.

If you would like to be involved you can get in touch on birdinhandproject@gmail.com.