During the month of June we are encouraging friends, members and guests of Leeds Church Institute to take a selfie with the Leeds Craftivists ‘Cost of Living Blanket’ and send or tweet it to their MP, asking for more reliable, affordable and sustainable energy here in Leeds.

The blanket was created by the Craftivist community during winter 2022, and has been on tour around the country. Each square of the blanket has been lovingly crafted by a Leeds resident to show their concern for the soaring cost of living, and the devastating impact of fossil fuel energy on our climate.

Hilary Benn MP, Anna Bland, and Emma Temple with the Blanket

Hilary Benn MP, Anna Bland, Emma Temple

We invited our local MP, Hilary Benn to hear all about the campaign and discuss the project with lead artists on the project Anna Bland and Emma Temple, co-founders of the Leeds Craftivist movement.

“We urged Hilary Benn, as our local representative in Parliament to take our message to the Prime Minister. We feel very strongly that the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor are one and the same, and we are called by our faith to take action for people and planet. We want to do all we can to raise the awareness that the cost of living crisis and climate destruction are interlinked, and the first step to solving them is asking for sustainable, reliable, and affordable energy.”

Hilary Benn said that “It was a great pleasure to visit the Craftivists and see the powerful climate change blanket that their members made. I have never been more concerned about how my constituents are managing financially.”

If you would like to know more about how you can lobby your MP with this message from the Leeds Craftivists visit their blog here.

We invited along Jamie Saye who is the Co-Founder of SAIL, Sustainable Arts in Leeds, to share an update of his work in the arts sector in Leeds.

Jamie Saye and Paul Coleman with the Blanket

Jamie Saye, Paul Coleman

“Our primary focus is to help the creative and cultural sector of Leeds reduce its impact on the planet. We are doing this by building a collaborative network across the city, to actively play our

part in making Leeds a zero carbon city and to utilise our audiences and visitors to inspire positive change.

“The Leeds Craftivist blanket is a great reminder of the power of creativity in challenging decision makers and audiences alike to work collaboratively to care for our environment. I am delighted to support this project, and we look forward to working in partnership with Leeds Church Institute on similar projects in the future”

Paul Coleman from Leeds Church Institute discussed links with his work as Faith at the Margins Lead and the work of SAIL, in particular his recent work on ‘Warm Spaces’ and the need for ongoing discussions with transport policy makers to ensure long term and local sustainable energy for transport across the wider Leeds area. “We look forward to joining SAIL as a member organisation and doing whatever we can within our church and faith networks to share ideas and information about the importance of the net zero particularly linked to the cost of living crisis, impacting so many of the communities I work alongside.”

You are welcome to visit the Craftivists blanket throughout June at our office on 43 The Calls. Contact Bronagh on [email protected] to find out more.