Working across London for 25 years, STITCHES IN TIME is a charity that brings diverse communities together with artists and educators to deal with often complex social and economic issues. In the shadow of Canary Wharf, in an area of high child poverty and economic inequality, Stitches in Time builds resilience by tapping into the rich local cultural heritage and history. Using textiles and the arts, the organisation co-designs projects to create, learn and form lasting community cohesion

Photography by Laurence Ellis Set design by Tony Hornecker Styling by Hanna Kelifa in collaboration with the Stitches in Time community

Nazira, Lasharn and Arlo – three generations of youth workers and the creative arts playscheme – with the Rocque Map, an embroidered depiction of the East End of London, after John Rocque’s map from 1746

Saleha Sharmin Chowdury Mitale and Shohidul Islam Khan holding the work A Place to Enjoy. Mitale has worked with the FabricWorks social enterprise for two years, progressing from being a FabricWorks class attendee, and has recently enrolled in college

The FabricWorks textile social-enterprise team (front to back) Saleha Sharmin Chowdury Mitale, Fatheha Hussain, Malika Benattou and Gracie Sutton – on the steps of Limehouse Town Hall

Vera and Babs, who have lived around Beaumont Square for over 55 years. During lockdown they’ve embroidered birds and their chicks and trees in full leaf; now the leaves are falling again

Nevaeh and Tevarie felt grateful this year to attend the playscheme despite lockdown, and sad when it was the last day. The playscheme has been a place to increase confidence for Tevarie, and for Nevaeh to make new friends

The English for Sewing group – Rukshana Khatun, Janiara Akter, Shelina Khanom, Rashida Chowdury, Hena Begum, Ruma Begum, Dilruba Khanom (Chadni), Moyzun Nessa, Jakia Khanom, Jebin Fatema and Salma Begum

Yeamin looking up at (left balcony) Issan and Amirah, and (right balcony) Munthaha, Naurin, Aadiat, Munna, Hasin, Hamza, Tasnim and other residents of the Locksley Estate. The hanging tapestry is The Life Cycle of the Silk Worm

Paul Garayo, baby Thea and Katie Adkins. The blue silk screens were inspired by the Sacred Space installation at St Paul’s Cathedral, and made from some of the pieces of the project

Now in its tenth year, the arts playscheme has provided safe creative learning opportunities for hundreds of children. Shown here are Mashrafi, Qayas, Mahdi, Yusra, Hamza, Kenzo, Kaelen, Arlo, Jannah, Lasharn Terrie, Ibrahim, Munthaha, Naurin, Mihran, Chloe and Sajedah

Sheila, Roisin and Sean. Sheila and daughter Roisin teach English for Sewing on the Locksley Estate. They use this embroidered and appliquéd phonemic chart (worn by Sheila), which was made by the over-fifties sewing group

Pictured with traditional Bangladeshi putul dolls made from scrap fabric, sisters Jahanara and Anwara Begum provide safe social space and empowerment for many local women through the English for Sewing classes. Making the dolls is both an activity to practise English and a way for participants to show others traditional Bangladeshi culture in public demonstrations and workshops

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