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Stansted Shirts Recycled For Help For Heroes

25 Aug 2009

Old BAA uniform shirts are being recycled into cosy quilts for injured British servicemen and women.

Stansted security officer Heather Stevens, who lives in Takeley, has delivered hundreds of shirts, formerly worn by her colleagues, to a group of needleworkers in Lutterworth, Leicestershire, who are supporting the Help for Heroes charity.

The eight ladies – one of them Heather’s mother-in-law, Rose Young – use every part of the shirts. They recycle the buttons, remove collars and cuffs to donate as rags to local charity shops, and cut the rest of the shirt into squares to make patchwork quilts.

"The padded quilts are taken to Headley Court, the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre in Surrey," said Heather. "The injured servicemen and women get to choose their own quilts and can take them home at the end of their stay, if they wish ... and most do."

The Lutterworth Ladies sewing group chose Help for Heroes as their charity this year and hit upon the idea of making quilts. They also make fabric shopping bags and small quilts to sell to raise cash for the charity.

They have also donated some bags and quilts to Heather's colleague George Salter to sell for his Africa charity.

"The women are all pensioners but they get great pleasure out of doing something so worthwhile," said Heather. "I'm just the intermediary, but it's really good to know that our old uniform shirts are being used for such a good cause."

Andy Rhodes, Stansted’s Head of Terminal Operations, added: "This is a fantastic idea, and one that ensures our old uniform shirts are put to very good use in the future.

"We're only too pleased to assist Heather and the Lutterworth Ladies in supporting Help for Heroes and the great work the charity does in helping the injury victims of the current conflicts being fought by our armed forces."

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