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News : A Quilt with a difference

Friday, 22nd February 2013

An exhibition with a difference is coming to the Accrington Library.

A special patchwork quilt, created by young people who are supported by Lancashire County Council, will be on display at the library from 4 March.

County council workers helped young people to express their ideas and feelings by making their own squares for the quilt, and the end result includes key themes of gratitude, strength, protection and comfort.

The quilt has been put together by young people in care and those who use the county council's short break, fostering, youth offending and leaving care services, as a way of sharing their experiences and aspirations.

The 17ft by 14ft quilt was first unveiled in September at a major conference which brought together councils from across the north west to share learning and good practice in being a good 'corporate parent' to children and young people in their care.

County Councillor Tony Winder, chairman of Lancashire's corporate parenting board, said: "It is hugely important that young people feel free and comfortable to have their say on any issues that affect their lives or which they are concerned about. The production of this quilt has been just one way among many in which young people who use our services can express their views.

"I'm very happy that the quilt is going to be showcased at locations throughout Lancashire as well as at its previous display at County Hall. This will enable more people throughout Lancashire to see all the time and effort the young people have put in to this innovative project.

"It is no wonder that this lovely quilt is going on tour because every patch tells a different story. It is a magnificent reflection on the benefit that being in residential care or receiving other kinds of help can have on a young person.

"I have no doubt that these further exhibitions will be just as successful as the last."

County Councillor Susie Charles, Cabinet Member for Children and Schools, said: "Each square of the quilt tells a story. Many of the patches have been created by young people who are in care, but some are by young people who are disabled, or are supported by our youth offending teams.

"What they all have in common is a desire to escape the stereotypes that often surround them, and instead to speak for themselves. The quilt is a fantastic way of doing this and bears close examination. I should like to encourage everyone to come along and see an unexpected side of our young people."

County Councillor Albert Atkinson added: "It's very heartening that many of the themes illustrated in the quilt refer to solidarity, support and affection. If this is how our staff are making young people feel, we must be doing something right. Well done to everyone involved."

The quilt will be on display at Accrington Library, St James' Street, Accrington, Lancashire BB5 1NQ from 4 – 15 March.


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