A newly formed charity, ‘Threads Together’ hopes to make its contribution to the run up of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games by engaging with as many people from Birmingham’s commonwealth community as possible in an unusual and exciting project: the creation of over 70 one metre square fabric panels, one for each country entitled to enter the games, each encompassing designs reflecting  peoples thoughts, dreams and aspirations as to why they or their forbears  came to live in the UK and, in particular, Birmingham. 

The inspiration for the project came from Gill Gregory, Lady Mayoress of Birmingham when her husband, Len, was Lord Mayor a few years ago. The experience heightened her awareness of the importance of each individual citizen’s story and how their personal histories had affected their lives and, in turn, enriched their wider communities. Gill felt this richness should be celebrated and recorded in such a way as to capture how these influences have become an intrinsic part of our City’s life.

With the announcement Birmingham would host Commonwealth Games 2022, she realised this was the ideal focus to bring together the threads of our diverse City. Commenting Gill said: “Each panel will depict the nation’s flag and flower along with the special features highlighted and inspired by those completing our questionnaire which can be found on our website. We need input from people across the entire Commonwealth including those islands and states with very small populations. Additional panels will represent different aspects of our City’s history and achievements.”

By working together using the talents of the diverse communities, the completed panels will be a fitting commemoration of the Commonwealth Games, the City of Birmingham, and its people’s valuable heritage links. The trustees are to to be joined by Helen McCook, a world-renowned, Birmingham-born Designer & Embroiderer whose skills are most appreciated.

The initiative is being partnered by the Birmingham Commonwealth Association whose Chair, Keith Stokes-Smith said: “We were delighted to have been approached by Gill to support this most interesting project allowing those in the community who have stories to tell and/or artistic talents to come forward and add their personal contribution to one or more of the panels.

“Those with embroidery, sewing or stitching skills are particularly welcome.  We hope to see the completed panels displayed around the city in due course exhibiting the magnificent contribution made by ordinary people who might not have otherwise had the opportunity to share in the unique event Birmingham and the surrounding area will benefit from in 2022”

Readers are invited to see ‘Threads Together’ at: http://www.threadstogether.org.uk, where they can register their interest in the project.