A dream has come true for a group of young parents, after they won £34,488 towards a new project teaching new life skills.
Led by Front Lounge, the ‘Bringing Up Baby (BUBS)’ ‘Kindred Clothing’ project was presented with the cheque from The People’s Projects (STV North) live on television on Thursday evening.
Welcoming the news, Alice Stuart, 28 year old mother of Lily (aged two) and the brainchild behind Kindred Clothing said: “I’m absolutely amazed we’ve won. It’s just fantastic and shows the support that the people of Dundee have given us.
“Now that we’ve got the funding, we can drive ahead with our plans and ultimately get the girls the qualifications they deserve. Everyone has worked so hard and it’s just brilliant that it’s all paid off. Now it can all just get bigger and better – this is just the start!”
Kindred Clothing will feature sessions at Front Lounge’s Hilltown premises, as well as showcase events and visits to creative venues.
The group aims to build the skills, confidence and networks of vulnerable, young families by supporting parents to design and make clothes, learn new skills and make friends while their children play.
The weekly sessions will be led by young parent volunteers, supported by a Community Learning and Development (CLD) Worker, with a Making Practitioner facilitating the creative sessions.
The programme will include tailoring, knitting and quilting, with the added opportunity for parents to design their own fabric through screen-printing.
The grant will also help pay for materials and machinery, toys and a Play Worker, allowing parents to concentrate on their crafting knowing that their children are being looked after just a few feet away.
Longer term, it is hoped that the skills gained will ultimately lead to external accreditation, a significant factor given that some participants may have left school early, with few qualifications.
Project Leader Chika Inatimi said they were absolutely thrilled to have won the funding.
“It’s a fantastic endorsement by the local community who came out in huge numbers to back us and we are extremely grateful for their support,” he said.
“All credit for the result must go to the young people themselves, who worked very hard throughout the campaigning period and really embraced the whole drive, from posting furiously on social media to heading into town to encourage locals to vote.
“Through this result, we’re seeing hope in action.
“When hope gets hold of people, they start to believe they can do whatever they set their minds to. It’s one thing imagining we could win but actually winning is affirmation that this really is an amazing project, and evidence that our local community agree!
“Right now, it’s all about celebrating the news but then it’s down to digesting what this means and devising a strategy with our volunteers to take this forwards and plan for growth.
“We are particularly keen to explore the accreditation side of things more fully because that’s where the real potential for change lies – it would really give the group a final stamp of validation and authenticity, and will futureproof everything that follows.
“This funding marks the beginning of their journey.”
Samantha Paton, whose fashion brand Isolated Heroes held a masterclass for the group recently added: “We are absolutely delighted but not surprised to hear that Kindred Clothing has won The People’s Project competition.
“Having had the privilege of spending time with some of the mums and children involved, I have to say that I was really impressed by their enthusiasm and positivity, not to mention their sewing skills and their determination to learn.
“This is a group who, despite some challenges, are pro-actively trying to improve their lives and those of their children.
“They’re determined to make a go of things, and to take the next step in their lives.
“I will be very much watching the group as they move forwards and hopefully having the chance to work with them as the project evolves. Congratulations to all involved.”
Although the final number of votes remains unknown, the group’s website page was bombarded with over 10,000 hits during the two week voting period. They have also received countless donations of material, wool and even two approaches by film makers to make documentaries about the group.