Maritime Division

Sheila Banks instructs Sewing Club member Chithra using the sewing machine

Volunteer, Sheila Banks Helped Create Inclusion and Community

06
.06

Just over eight years ago after retiring from occupational therapy, Sheila was looking for meaningful volunteer opportunities that would be inclusive and accessible to all. With a passion for sewing, strong organizational skills and a background in adult education, Sheila decided to pitch the idea of creating a Sewing Club to The Salvation Army.

“The Salvation Army stepped up immediately as an enthusiastic host and welcomes us each week with its principles of caring, inclusiveness and community,” says Sheila. She adds, “We clarified guiding principles and got started with eight interested members, three donated sewing machines, a small amount of fabric, supplies, and storage containers.”

Reflecting on her decision to volunteer for The Salvation Army, Sheila says, “Having a life of privilege, always able to work, pay the bills, and raise children, I wanted to give back. She adds, “I found a niche that suited me and have certainly learned a lot from Club members; I didn’t realize how many new friends I would make.”

Initially offering informal sewing machine instruction to a small number of participants, Sheila’s vision led to more than 75 people – men included, coming to check out the Club. Children are also welcome with parental supervision. Members not only receive basic sewing instruction, they also build community and give back to a number of programs at the same time such as sewing curtains for The Salvation Army’s Scotian Glen camp.

Sheila says, “While retirement can mean a loss of social life and career, it can also mean a whole new freedom to draw on talents and skills that may have been set aside. I’m grateful that I’m not only giving back to my community through my skills, but together as a Club, we are learning from and supporting one another; we laugh and sometimes cry together.”

Sheila is one of The Salvation Army’s many valued and valuable volunteers. The Salvation Army would not be able to serve our communities so well without committed volunteers like her.

The Halifax Sewing Club meets throughout the year except during August. In July, some Moms and grandparents bring children along. For more information, contact the Spryfield Community Church & Family Resource Centre at 902-477-5393.

 

Related Articles

Peers helping peers! Community members join at the Spryfield Community Church for an evening of conversation to help newcomers learn the language and meet people in the community.

Building community one conversation at a time

06
.16

The Spryfield Community Church was filled with much conversation and laughter during the first weekly English Café.

In café style, The Salvation Army is bringing peer leaders, generous volunteers and those who have recently immigrated to Nova Scotia together to learn more English and connect with one another. A theme will guide each week as participants work towards building their vocabularies through activities, games and many discussions in both large and small groups.  

“We want to welcome people here to build community […]

Halifax Sewing Club meets at the Spryfield Corps

Sewing and Socializing for People and Purpose

06
.01

New creations are being made every Monday morning at the Spryfield Community Church & Family Resource Centre. As community members sew many items and work on projects for a number of causes, they also build social connections and confidence by working together and learning from one another.

Started by Sheila Banks eight years ago with a vision to build community while creating, the Halifax Sewing Club is a great community for all who participate and everyone is welcome. Over the years, […]