A teenager from Kenilworth has designed a t-shirt for a project that helps vulnerable women in Leamington Warwick and Kenilworth.
Joshua Gallion, a Kenilworth Sixth Form student who is studying business, sociology and textiles for his A-levels, designed the charity t-shirt for the Esther Project, a local group for vulnerable women, which part of Helping Hands Community Project.
Inspired by his mum’s work with the charity, Joshua wanted to help raise funds and 'create a fashionable piece of clothing but with an important message behind the design'.
Joshua based his design on the Japanese art of Kintsugi.
This ancient technique, discovered in the fifteenth century, is the art of repairing a broken object by enhancing its scars with real gold, instead of trying to hide them.
The word Kintsugi comes from the Japanese Kin (gold) and Tsugi (join) and literally means, join with gold.
Talking about Joshua's t-shirts, a spokesperson from the project said: "He is highlighting the women’s journey, which made them who they are now – they may be scared and might feel broken but they are here now on their journey to be mended."
The Esther group receives around 10 new referrals a week through the charity’s House2Home Project and up to 10-15 new direct referrals a month from other agencies (Refuge/police/probation/local council).
The ladies attending the Esther group are offered the opportunity to volunteer in the charity’s shop, café or warehouse, to study for qualifications, are offered counselling, debt, housing, benefits - as well as health and relationship issues support.
Drop-in sessions provide lunch and refreshments and run weekly activities, such as cooking, arts/crafts, day trips out, equine therapy, film afternoons and pamper days.
Many of the women receiving support have suffered different types of trauma and benefit greatly from the groups support.
Joshua is set to raise £500 with the sale of the t-shirts, which will be a much-needed financial support for the group.
The t-shirts are available at Helping Hands Community Project headquarters in Leamington (contact Lianne Kirkman [email protected]).
The shirts are also available at 1 Mill Street, the co-working space in Leamington, where Joshua’s design will be displayed in their “Social Impact” section near the café area.