Today is National Stress Awareness Day. Many stitchers will know of the benefits of any kind of craft that engages the hands, while satisfying the creative spark in our minds. What is not so well known is that stitching has been used as a form of therapy since the end of the First World War, when Ernest Thesiger, an actor who had served and been wounded in France, founded the ‘Disabled Soldiers Embroidery Society’ in order to help soldiers to augment their pensions. The additional benefits of stitching were a bonus – but of significant value to the individuals.
The charity ‘Fine Cell Work ‘works in prisons around the UK www.finecellwork.co.uk, teaching prisoners to stitch and create gifts that can be sold through the Fine Cell Work website. The benefits of stitching go far beyond the additional income for the individuals and provide a mental respite for the stitchers which is highly valued. Fine Cell Work supply completed cushions, glasses cases and other gifts, or kits for stitching at home.