Swanswell stitches up the carers cabin to highlight Barnsley support

04 September 2012

Almost 65 miles of wool has been used by Swanswell to yarnbomb a Barnsley building to raise awareness of the support for carers of loved ones affected by substance misuse.

Swanswell, a national charity which wants to achieve a society free from problem alcohol and drug use, unveiled the huge, brightly-coloured temporary cover for the local carers cabin behind the Metrodome-BPL on Queens Road at an open day on 1 September.

It’s part of a wider campaign to highlight Swanswell’s carer support service – part of Barnsley’s integrated treatment system – offering emotional and practical support on a range of topics from carers allowance applications to understanding a loved one’s treatment.

The service, based at Henry Windsor House on Pitt Street, also gives carers the opportunity to live their own lives, providing a range of activities such as days out, and art and craft workshops called Knitswell, which is where the yarnbombing idea started out.

Since July, team members, carers and volunteers have been creating knitted banners saying ‘recovery for families too’ during sessions and in their own time, which have appeared around the town including Mandela Gardens, the Rotary Shelter and Peel Square.

It all built up to an open day last Saturday (1 September), where residents could find out more about the help available for carers and see the yarnbombing for themselves.

492 balls of wool were used to cover the entire cabin, taking the equivalent of 2334 hours to complete and if stretched out, would measure almost 64.3 miles – that’s roughly the distance between Swanswell’s offices in Barnsley and Loughborough (66 miles).

Donations of wool and knitted squares have been coming in from all over the country - with some even coming from as far afield as Holland.              

Jeni Upperdine, Senior Practitioner at Swanswell’s carer support service, said: ‘We’ve had some fantastic support from carers, volunteers, team members and residents in Barnsley and beyond, who have all offered their free time to help us

Our open day was also a great success – we received lots of positive comments about our yarnbombing of the carers cabin and raised over £140 in the process, which is fantastic.

While we did have a lot of fun with our yarnbombing attempts, there is a serious message behind what we’re doing.

Caring for a loved one affected by substance misuse can be a very isolating experience and many don’t know where to turn for help, so it was really important for us to come up with an eye catching way of telling people we are here.’

Swanswell’s carer support service would like to thank the following organisations for their help on the day: ReSound, Barnsley Churches Drugs Project, BADAS, Cool 1’s, Field Lane Crafters, Metrodome-BPL, the Carers Cabin and Making Space.

To find out how to get in touch with our carer support service in Barnsley, visit our 'Contact Us' page.

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