The University for the Creative Arts (UCA) has joined forces with a hand embroidery degree student to mobilise people to use their skills and imagination to support the NHS battling Covid-19.
Lucy Martin, a hand embroidery degree pupil at the Royal School of Needlework, has created a heart template with the NHS logo inside, and is working with the Rochester university to encourage people of any level of embroidery and age to have a go at stitching their own heart-shaped NHS design, and to hang the completed work in their window to share their support.
The ethos of the design was to create a piece which employs the traditional skills of hand embroidery and shows our thanks and solidarity with the NHS staff at this unprecedented time.
Hand embroidery can be soothing and therapeutic during troubling times, encouraging calm, focused work and inducing a relaxed state of mind.
Many find the motion of the needle through the fabric is therapeutic and the sense of accomplishment, once you have created a beautiful piece of art, can boost mental well-being.
Lucy said: “Right now, creativity matters more than ever! I am so honoured to be leading this exciting challenge for the RSN degree and UCA.
"In creating the NHS heart, I was inspired by the love that our NHS staff show towards their patients 24 hours a day, particularly at this difficult time when most have never experienced such a situation before.
"Everyone can take part – adults, children, families, no matter their stitch ability, using any materials they have at home.
"This project encourages people to stay home, protect the NHS and save lives, and I can’t wait to see what everyone does."
Over the coming weeks, Lucy will be launching a series of stitch tutorial videos, which will be shared through the @lucymartinembroidery and @UniCreativeArts Instagram feeds.
Each one will showcase a different stitch which can then be used by people young and old, experienced or beginner, to create their own NHS embroidery at home.
Angie Wyman, course leader for the RSN degree in hand embroidery, said: “We are exceptionally proud of our NHS.
"Our NHS embroidery project shows our appreciation of the amazing work that they are doing throughout this crisis and is a perfect example of how our degree students are able to collaborate and successfully apply their design and hand embroidery skills to different scenarios.”
The project is part of the #CreatorsAssemble social media campaign.
When you complete your own NHS embroidery heart, tag @lucymartinembroidery and use the hashtag #CreatorsAssemble so that Lucy can see your work and share it.