Let’s Get Stitching

Let’s Get Stitching

Group designed to contribute to making face masks for the most vulnerable & teach local residents how to make their own mask too

Benefit of crafts - sewing

Craft activities are particularly beneficial to older people and are recommended by NICE to promote independence and wellbeing in older people. Older adults who attend craft groups are less likely to have doctor-related visits and require less medication, resulting in cost-savings and reduced demand on health services. Craft groups help individuals build strong friendships, reducing social isolation and loneliness. Knitting has been shown to have benefits on multiple aspects of health including reducing depression and anxiety, slowing the onset of dementia, lowering blood pressure, reducing isolation and loneliness and increasing sense of inclusion in society.


Manchester Settlement


Ashton Old Rd


M11 1JG

Project team

Buzz Health & Wellbeing Service

Manchester Settlement


The aim of this project came from a neighbourhood priority from the North East Age Friendly Network as the area does not have a sewing group. Also feedback from Community Questionnaires highlight residents would either like to know how to sew and stich or simply attend a sewing & stitching group.

Because of this Emma Davis from Manchester Settlement & I were keen to create a group which addresses the need. I funded Manchester Settlement £500 & a woman from the local Thai community kindly donated a sewing machine towards the project.

We found two local residents who were skilled in both sewing & stitching would are willing to teach other their skills.

Let’s Get Stitching is a crafts group who meet very Wednesday afternoon from Manchester Settlement Openshaw. The groups aim is to help to contribute towards the creation of face masks for the most vulnerable and teaches local residents how to make their own mask for themselves & family members. Other benefits are to help reduce isolation and help people become social in an open and friendly environment. We encourage all participants and members to join in fun and the empowerment of crafts, or if you prefer simply learn how to craft from home.


“It’s been really wonderful to help teach others how to stich during this difficult time”

“Sewing and stitching has been a hobby of mine for years, it’s really nice to think a hobby can help others”

“It’s been a great distraction and fun to learn a new skill”


The project has been an overwhelming success, as it helped to bring the community together after the initial lockdown and was a safe space for skill sharing & learning. Ten residents attended the group on a regular basis, in addition, many local family requested home stitching packs and took part in the project from the safety of their homes.

In the words of Emma Davis the Community Health and Wellbeing Manager “the Let’s Get Stitching group offers an age friendly space which can be accessed by the community and used by the community to contribute towards the creation of face masks and other fun crafts. The group helped to reduce isolation and helped to improve wellbeing for the residents who attended, friendships were made, skills and stories were shared”.

The group is expected to continue after the third national lockdown and to continue to be held at Manchester Settlement but with a new focus on crafts and stitching designed by the attendees.

Strategic links to local/national policies



Increased mental wellbeing

Manchester Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Greater Manchester Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Reduce social isolation

Manchester Population Health Plan

NHS Five Year Forward View (Department of Health, 2014)

Reducing demand on services

Taking Charge of our Health and Social Care in Greater Manchester (GMCA, 2015)

Helping people age well

Taking Charge of our Health and Social Care in Greater Manchester (GMCA, 2015)

Manchester Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Manchester Population Health Plan

Research/evidence base

All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing Inquiry Report (2017) - Creative Health: The Arts for Health and Wellbeing

Burt, E. L. and Atkinson, J. (2012) The relationship between quilting and wellbeing, Journal of Public Health, Volume 34, Issue 1, Pages 54–59.

Cohen, G. (2009) New theories and research findings on the positive influence of music and art on health with ageing. Arts & Health, 1:1, 48-62.

Knit For Peace – The Health Benefits of Knitting

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). (2015). Older People: Independence and Mental Wellbeing. London: NICE.


Matt Brown - Neighbourhood Health Worker


T. 0161 271 0564

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"Before I didn’t know anyone in this area, then a neighbour invited me to the afternoon tea, and I met lots of people who live just a few doors away."

Local resident attending Spoon and Ladle afternoon tea, Burnage

Local resident attending Spoon and Ladle afternoon tea, Burnage photo