As a fashionable contribution, Israeli designer Avshalom Gur ran an arts and crafts workshop for those with learning difficulties at Kisharon’s Hanna Schwalbe home in Golders Green on Sunday afternoon. Using sewing materials including buttons, beads and badges, he showed adult residents how to decorate the cushion covers he donated.
Mr Gur was literally driven to learn about the work of the special needs charity. He was away when his wife celebrated her 40th birthday, so asked 40 friends to send her flowers, promising to reimburse them. When they all refused to take money, the designer decided to give it to charity.
Driving down Finchley Road, he saw the Kisharon sign above its day school. “Being Israeli, I knew it meant ‘talent’ so I wanted to know more. I got in touch with Kisharon and said I would like to get involved and we came up with the idea of doing a Mitzvah Day project. I’m a great believer in arts and crafts. Being creative is a way of having fun and it helps people to be fulfilled.”
He arrived at the home with his son Guy, six, who attends Akiva School. Also present were families from the nearby North Western Reform Synagogue, who were helping out for Mitzvah Day.
Mr Gur said that, initially, “residents were scared to touch the needles. But thanks to the volunteers, we gave them the encouragement and the one-to-one help they needed. By the end of the afternoon, they were busy sewing and delighted with the results. I definitely want to do more events like this for Kisharon.”
Thanking Mr Gur, Kisharon fundraising director Richard Franklin said: “A home is only as warm and loving as the people in it.
“Together with the other Mitzvah Day volunteers, you have added a highly enjoyable and creative dimension to our residents’ lives.”