Just under a year ago, I had a conversation with Natalie Rumbol about how she could help start new projects. She was volunteering at Anstee Bridge and wanted to do more. Both mothers, with children under two to look after, we had a really honest conversation about the highs and lows of motherhood. We started to share ideas about a project for mums in the area who might not access typical services. The idea for a project for mums rather than children was born and successfully piloted thanks to a small grant from Kingston Council.
The pilot was so successful, Natalie told me she was going to start a business off the back of it. It was going to be based on sewing. I said great & suggested she could teach children’s classes. She told me she had to learn to sew first. A few months on, we secured funding for the project for another year. Natalie has already bought a sewing machine and just had her first exhibition of work at Kingston Library as part of the Spine Festival. She and two of the other mums on the project have conceived Sewn Up as their business.
There lies everything I love about being able to run Bounce. The rest of these words are Natalies. . .
I think everyone should know basic sewing skills. Sewing is not only exciting and creative. It can be useful in many ways. Sewing makes me feel adventurous. There is loads of different things to learn!
Us Sewn Up girls are going to be focusing on learning new skills & working towards managing events. We will start by organising small events to raise money for charities. We would also like to teach as much as we learn to the younger generation! One of our main aims is to remove as much plastic from kids stuff and remake it with fabric!
In our library exhibition, we up cycled our children’s old clothes into a Sewing Tree, marking our adventures as mothers. To have an exhibition in the library makes me so proud. It might not be a big achievement to others but for me having someone display something I created is a huge achievement!
The Mum Plus+ project has had a massive impact on my life! It is inspiring & motivational- there is such a positive vibe within the programme. If I hadn’t started Mums Plus+, I would be volunteering at Anstee Bridge one day a week. The other days would be lounging around looking for something to do. Now, I volunteer one day and attend Mums Plus+ one day. In any spare time I’m being creative or setting new goals to achieve. Our life coach has helped change our perspective and our outlook on various things- giving us an extra push to achieve. We are provided with a support network on the days the programme does not run, which is extremely beneficial to our independent lives.
When we spoke and decided to start this group our aim was to help and provide mums with something that wasn’t necessarily offered, something unique to help give a little motivation and support to other mums in the same position as myself. There’s still lots you can do and achieve after having kids and this project proves it! Our kids will grow up to see the success the group provided us with in future years- when we are making them proud!