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Packing Week – 2020 – Covid-19

QMCG has risen to many challenges over its long history, including the enormous challenges of two World Wars.  The spirit that has empowered Guild members since the late 1800’s is still very much in evidence today.  The Trustees and Executive Committee were determined to provide the same level of help this autumn to the 60 plus charities we support, despite the huge problems that the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown up.

This would have been the 107th year since the Guild started distributing brand new clothing and bedding to UK wide charities from St James’s Palace – named the “Guild HQ” by Queen Mary in 1914. Sadly, COVID-19 restrictions on large gatherings mean the Guild was not able to come together at St James’s this October.  We are, however, very much looking forward to returning to our “home” in 2021.

The key thing this year was to ensure that those in desperate need get our help which clearly will be more important than ever this winter.  We have been in close contact with the charities we support and it is clear that our promise of help is a lifeline in these challenging times.  All the beautiful donated hand knitted and stitched items together with the new clothing and bedding that we have bought were collected in large barns in East Sussex, then brought to the nearby stunning wedding venue Hendall Manor Barns where the owners generously agreed to let us hold our “Not at the Palace Packing Week”.  Last year we distributed over 35,000 items to more than 60 UK wide charities – we are delighted to announce that this October we distributed over 47,000 items. In response to the current pandemic, this year’s distribution included 14,000 items of PPE as well as over 600 three ply cotton face masks hand stitched by Guild members, which were donated to the charities we support to keep them and those they care for safe, and to brighten up the coming winter months.

Linda Thompson, CEO

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