04 Feb Kizzy Gardiner 1st Locum MP: my heart is in this
Join Kizzy and #ShowYourLove for the planet this Valentines 2021
Kizzy Gardiner shares why she joined in our A Heart For Your Sleeve climate craftivism project and the positive ripple effects it has. This project supports The Climate Coalition #ShowTheLove campaign. We hope that reading Kizzy’s story will encourage you to stitch your own heart to keep for yourself or give to your local politician as a gift this Valentines Season 2021. This project can be done wherever you are in the world…
I have worked in international development for over a decade and I know that the climate crisis is driving many of the problems faced by the families and communities we support. So when Sarah told me about the Craftivist Collective ‘A Heart for Your Sleeve” project I immediately signed up.
Weeks later, sitting in Fabrications stitching my heart and reflecting inward, all I could hear was the little voice telling me how overwhelming it all is. The problem is so big. What can I do that will actually make an impact?
It’s taking that time and honestly sitting with those challenges that I find transformative in craftivism. While stitching my heart for your sleeve I was thinking about the area I live in (Walthamstow) and everything that makes it special. From the people, to the green space, to the wildlife, I took the time to stop and think about it all and why protecting it is important. I could see that I don’t have to have all the answers right now, because there are a lot of other people out there who share my cares and concerns.
“While stitching my heart for your sleeve I was thinking about the area I live in (Walthamstow) and everything that makes it special. From the people, to the green space, to the wildlife, I took the time to stop and think about it all and why protecting it is important.”– Kizzy Gardiner, 1st locum MP
We live in a quick fix, immediate gratification society and we can be forgiven for thinking that the solution to our problems, our big existential problems like the climate emergency, might be a quick fix too. We hope they can be solved by someone else, somewhere else, with a big decision that fixes it all. But while crafting I took the time to stop and engage with the issue in a thoughtful way. I sat with the understanding that the solution is going to take us all working together. That should be obvious, but for so long I have focussed only on immediate practical and political challenges.
So often when we think of campaigning it’s the loud, antagonistic actions that spring to mind. Actions which no doubt can make a difference but which can also be enormously othering. In campaigning for change sometimes we can forget that the people we are challenging are people, just like us.
I stitched my heart on your sleeve with Walthamstow in mind, when I was working as the maternity cover for our local MP. I now wear it during meetings, which in the current world are mostly online. It’s a great conversation starter and an easy way to introduce what can be a difficult subject. When people ask me about it, I tell them why I made it, why the climate future is important to me and why I love Walthamstow. Even when I’m not talking about it directly, people see it and they know that my heart is in this work.
“There’s a lot of anger in the world. We need something that is going to be positive that is going to effect change as well.”Kizzy Gardiner speaking at our workshop that was filmed for BBC4 show ‘Craftivism: Making a Difference’
Join Kizzy and many more craftivists to #ShowTheLove this February 2021 for our planet and support The Climate Coalition or a credible campaign organisation in your country if you are outside of the UK.
Join us this year and stitch a green heart to post to your Member of Parliament with the name of your constituency (you can find that out here) encouraging them to wear it in their meetings like Kizzy does and use it as as tool to wear their convictions. Below is a template letter you can use to help you write your handwritten letter to go with your heart in the post to your MP. This year is vital for your MP to use their power in the UK Government to campaign for a robust agreement at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland this November 2021 co-hosted by the UK.
More information on how to create your own climate heart here.
What to know more aways we can support you in your craftivism journey? Watch our 4min animated film made with and gifted by Woven Ink