Making a difference while making good news!

Supported by

Children from Lewisham have explored their local community creating connections through acts of kindness and exchange, finding and sharing common ground.

The current digital landscape has put growing pressure on children due to the easy access to frightening and upsetting news as well as becoming victims of a selfie-culture, that scientists have linked to narcissism, addiction and mental illness.

Four local groups of children aged between 10-12, were paired up with four local charities to create and donate a gift carrying a positive and uplifting message of love.

Through 15 creative workshops facilitated by artists and social workers, over 100 children experienced the joy and power of making and giving together. It was challenging! Kids have learned new skills: how to work from a brief, sewing & hand sewing, to cut fabrics and combine colours, to pin and how to make an image with textile materials.

From being powerlessly exposed to the problems in the world, the children involved in “Bags of Love” sprinkled magic and hope in the community of Lewisham.

Childeric Primary School, Lewisham & Greenhive Carehome, Peckham
Hatcham Temple Grove Primary School, Lewisham & St Mungo’s Charity for Homeless People
SIGNAL, Autism in Lewisham + & 999 Club, Deptford Syrian Vulnerable People Resettlement Scheme (Lewisham Council) & Telegraph Hill Festival

With thanks to:
Telegraph Hill Centre
SHP Single Homeless Project

Produced by hARTslane (Cristiana Bottigella & Tisna Westehof)
Coordinated by Cristiana Bottigella
Workshops led by: Tisna Westerhof, artist & Mary McInerney, social worker and art facilitator
Volunteers: Cadi Freud, Jazz McInerney, Matilde Strocchi, Flynn Richards
Film: Alex Abdolwahabi

“I really liked the conversation with the children, and love the picture of my daughter, I can look at it every day and smile.” – Moe, resident at Greenhive

“I felt nervous and then I felt happy that I made someone else happy!” – pupil

“They were so happy that someone that isn’t paid to look after them is actually thinking about them.”. – El Thomson, Service Manager, St Mungo’s.

“What a great project! Very friendly and accommodating. For once the focus was not on the Autism and their needs but on making and creating for someone else. We’d love to see more of this.” – Parent at Signal

“The workshops were lovely in that they allowed our families to socialise and mingle with local families over an activity that in itself was enjoyable and therapeutic too.” ‘This allowed them to genuinely be a part of local community events, not by virtue of their situation but as Londoners.” – Werisha Husaini, Support Assistant, Refugee Resettlement Lewisham

In collaboration with


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