Guides and the Wingate Centre
The Wingate Centre requested assistance in obtaining ‘fiddle’ or ‘fidget’ bags that were needed by autistic children to help them deal with sensory overload. The bags are held in the hand and allow children the comfort of a familiar object that can also be manipulated with a pleasant sound. Having already worked with the Guides it was decided to help two groups at once; the Guides would learn sewing skills that could help them achieve a new badge and know that their efforts would be helping other children, whilst the Wingate Centre would receive essential equipment.
The bags were to be filled with buttons and beads of different shapes and sizes, all of plastic (no wood, glass or metal) with smooth edges which meant the bags would be fully washable with no staining or rust. To prevent spillage of the buttons they were initially sewn into plain calico bags.
A ‘Sewing Bee’ was held with the Guides on 18th November 2014. Each group of 5-6 Guides was provided with squares of colourful cotton craft fabrics along with needles, threads, pins and safety scissors. The groups were helped by Soroptimists to show them how to sew the squares together on three sides before turning them right side out, inserting the calico bags and stitching the tops closed. Over 40 bags were made on the night with the Guides enjoying the experience and some took bags home to show their parents what they had achieved.