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Poole-based corsetry, haberdashery and costume supply business, Vena Cava Design, has chosen The Water Lily Project as its Charity of the Year.  Vena Cava Design is a family-run business which has been supplying professional, home costumiers, corsetieres and dressmakers since 1998.

Sarah Hobbs, who runs Vena Cava said: “We prefer to support small and sometimes unfashionable charities. For example, a few years ago we chose a charity that supports those bereaved by epilepsy. Smaller charities can be more effective at seeing a need and focusing precious resources towards it.”

Sarah Hobbs from Vena Cava

Sarah Hobbs from Vena Cava Design is supporting the work of The Water Lily Project 

The Water Lily Project, based in Christchurch, is a Christian charity supporting vulnerable women back to independent living. It helps those fleeing domestic abuse, acrimonious divorces, women struggling with financial debt, mental health issues and bereavement.

Sarah Hobbs added: “The last 15 months has shone a real spotlight on the plight of the victims of domestic abuse. Lockdowns have clearly made bad situations worse for many. The Water Lily Project seems to provide such practical help and support.”

As well as a generous financial donation, Vena Cava Design will also be supporting The Water Lily Project with donations of fabrics for its craft and sewing sessions for some of its beneficiaries. The company has a strong ethical and eco policy, minimising fabric waste with spare fabrics going to local schools for art lessons.

The business, which is built on a passion for corsetry, tailoring, historical clothing and costumes knows all about the well-being benefits of creative projects. Sarah Hobbs: “Sewing and crafts can be incredibly therapeutic. The focus on the activity as well as the act of creation is a great combination. Learning new skills is always rewarding and gives individuals confidence.”

Therapeutic power of sewing

The therapeutic power of sewing to upcycle with fabric donations thanks to Vena Cava Design

Liz Carter, Project Manager with The Water Lily Project said: “We’re delighted to receive financial and practical support from this wonderful local business. We have seen an 80% increase year-on-year from women seeking our help so donations and funding are more crucial than ever to allow us to continue our work.”