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Quilts for Warm Homes unite in Westminster

Cardiff Friends of the Earth’s Warm Homes Campaign quilt joins the display.

Groups from across England and Wales displayed their quilts at Westminster

Cardiff’s Warm Homes community quilt joined others to make a vibrant and expressive display in Westminster this February. The display marked the launch of a damning report into the dire state of Britain’s homes. “Left out in the cold: the hidden health costs of Britain’s cold homes” by the Institute of Health Equity cited evidence that 1 in 3 households are living in poorly insulated, energy inefficient, money-wasting homes.

Cardiff Friends of the Earth joined with other craftivists from Birmingham, Norwich, Manchester, Leicester, Ilford and New Forest on Parliament Square. They displayed quilts made up of squares bearing messages on the theme of ‘Warm Homes that don’t cost the Earth’. To make the quilts groups from England and Wales  had invited their members and supporters and held other events so communities could contribute squares. Cardiff Friends of the Earth’s Day of Action in November was followed by an event in Chapter Arts Centre where members and local people made 40 squares altogether. 

Describing the quilt, Cardiff Friends of the Earth group member Jenny Moses said, “Once we collected the squares we sewed them around a knitted centrepiece and constructed it so the quilt could be used as a banner or even worn as a cloak. It was so great to see the creativity, inventiveness and messages in the quilts of the other groups too”.

The Institute of Health Equity report was launched in Portcullis House and the quilts were displayed around the room for the event. The report highlights the dangers of living in cold homes – from increased mental health concerns to more pressure on the NHS and how poorly the UK performs compared to other countries.

“One of the delegates commented on the effort that went into making these squares and quilts. The point was emphasised that people across the country saw it as a way to express their concern and hopes on the theme of ‘United for Warm Homes’. Now we need our politicians to really act on making warm homes a reality for all!”

Terry Howe and Jenny Moses from Cardiff Friends of the Earth holding up their quilt outside Westminster

Terry Howe, Co-Chair of Cardiff Friends of the Earth said, “Last April we showed that many Cardiff homes are leaking energy and money. The report concluded that spending £6billion a year on insulating homes would save more than twice that amount by improving the physical and mental health of occupants. The findings of this report illustrate how the current situation is just not acceptable.”

"We brought our community quilt to Westminster to show that the people of Cardiff care about this and want to see meaningful action to tackle the issue.”

So what’s next?

Cardiff Friends of the Earth invites you to the Grange Pavilion in Cardiff on 25 April 2024 for the next stage of the campaign. We will hear from warm home campaigners as well as Cardiff Councillors who will tell us what the Council is doing about energy efficiency and to help people struggling with deprivation.

Terry says, “The quilt will be back on display and this time we’ll have another interactive piece – a storyboard where people can add their experiences of cold homes. We’ll also have action postcards for those who want to take further action.” 

Communities from across Wales got crafty for the United for Warm Homes Day of Action 18th November.

Cardiff Friends of the Earth brought people together from across the city to make a community quilt this November.

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