Horsham Cape of Good Hopes

At Sussex Green Living we often talk about our outreach with families, in the villages, in schools and with the Youth Eco Forum.  What people may not realise is that we also run community sessions with the elderly. Morag and I went along to the Kings Court Care Home in January this year, taking the Horsham Cape of Good Hopes along with us.

What is the Cape of Good Hopes?

The Cape of Good Hopes is a collaborative community project. It consists of the construction of mini artworks created by individuals and groups to bring the community together with the common cause of celebrating nature in all its wonderous forms and acknowledge that we can’t survive without a healthy planet to support us.

I introduced the project to the residents while Morag paraded the Cape around for them to see more closely.

We explained that the patches have been made by a wide cross section of the Horsham community, the youngest being a 4-year-old boy, and the oldest well over eighty.  Groups participating have included girl guides, sewing groups, Ukrainian refugees, Women’s Institutes and various clubs.

We passed around a number of beautifully hand made patches which haven’t yet been attached to the Cape and this gave us a good chance to have a chat with individuals and enjoy the stories they had to share, and many of the residents also enjoyed looking through the accompanying book of pictures and stories about some of the patches, such as Jean’s stories of her first job as a teenager, sweeping up sequins from the floor of the costume department of the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden – and now attaching some to our Cape, around 60 years on- now that’s recycling!  In fact, all the materials are recycled and donated including the fabrics, yarns, needles, threads, and even vintage buttons.

It wasn’t a moment of historic importance, but it was a moment of connection, kindness, and shared humanity on all sides, and I think we all benefitted from sharing.

We left Hilary, the lovely hospitable activities manager, with a few ‘starter packs’, as a couple of ladies wanted to make their own squares to add, and when I popped by again today, they were enjoying engaging in the process.

The Scrap Space in Shoreham is a great place to find reclaimed resources for play, art, craft, theatre and DIY. It has its own Facebook and Instagram and is part of The Circular Space community creative reuse hub at Ham Road, Shoreham-by-Sea.

Want to know more?

Read the background to the Cape project HERE

If anyone would like to contribute a 10 cm square in any textiles technique, expressing their love of nature, then please get in touch via email ( note the underscore!) or come along to the Sussex Green Hub.


By Jane Sharp