Police Scotland are fully supportive of a very special group of Machars ladies who have dedicated their spare time to creating hand made quilts for those in need of special care.
Project Linus UK is a national voluntary group which aims to provide handmade quilts which are given free of charge to teenagers, children and babies in need of “a hug” in times of stress, illness or trauma in their life.
The concept, based on Linus, a character from the Charlie Brown cartoon, who carried his blanket everywhere with him, was introduced to the UK in 2000.
Police Scotland is delighted to support this initiative through Constable Elaine Milven, an officer of Custody Division at Stranraer, who is a member of the Sorbie Quilt Group, which has produced a wonderful variety of quilts for children of all ages. The colours, fabrics and themes are appropriate to the child’s age and interests.
The Sorbie Quilt Group are Emma McCornick, Susan Grimner, Elizabeth Wallace, Laura Lawson, Maria Old and Morven Old. Morven is quilting as part of her Duke of Edinburgh Award and the group are delighted to assist Morven with her Duke of Edinburgh award and are looking forward to seeing what she will be attempting as her quilt challenge this year as part of her gold award.
Constable Elaine Milven said: “I am delighted to be part of Project Linus and three years ago formed a group of local like-minded Machars ladies to make these quilts for a brilliant project which brings pleasure to the many children who receive a quilt. The quilts are gratefully received by the parents/guardians in what is usually a stressful time for the family. Project Linus receives some lovely thank you letters from the recipients of these quilts and their pleasure in their new quilt or ‘hug’ only spurs me on to make more. I know they are loved for many years after they are received and are used as play mats, tents for playing under and of course covering beds. I find making quilts very therapeutic and I challenge myself by making more complicated quilts as my skills level increases.”
The group wrote to Claire Balding from BBC television and Tommy Jardine from West Sound who each signed a label showing their support for Project Linus and the work and hours that making these quilts take. The group are now making a child friendly quilt which they hope to get Police Scotland Senior Management to hand over in a children’s ward.
The quilts have been delivered to Ward 15 at Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary by Elaine’s Custody Division colleagues. (Sergeant Alison Moir, and Police Custody and Security Officer Bryan Sinclair).
In 2015 over 28000 quilts were made and distributed in hospitals, hospices, care centres and through partner organisations within the UK. Unfortunately the need for quilts exceeds the amount made by the volunteers and not every child can get a quilt. These quilts are colourful and beautifully made and cheer up children in the hospital environment, especially as they are allowed to keep the quilt after their hospital stay.
In America, all the children that lost someone in the twin towers disaster in New York received a quilt from Project Linus in America. That’s one serious’ big hug’ to give out.