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Art Club weaves sleeping mats for homeless

A community art group has been turning unwanted plastic bags into sleeping mats for rough sleepers in Manchester and Stockport.

Art Club in Heaton Moor, Stockport, has made 30 mats from around 1,000 plastic bags and given them to homeless charity The Wellspring.

The mats have been made by Art Club students and members of the community at various locations in the Heatons, including Norris Bank Primary School and Feed, on homemade looms.

Art Club was founded by professional artists Angela Lock and Emma Wilkinson in 2018 and runs classes for would-be artists in locations the Heatons.

Art Club

Angela said: “The idea of weaving mats out of unwanted plastic came from a street art project as we wanted to introduce our students to ‘yarn bombing’.

“Instead of creating artwork that would be left behind, like a lot of yarn bombing is, we decided to create useful mats out of plastic bags, and also tackling the issue of recycling.

“In the run-up to Christmas, we noticed how many homeless people were sitting on pieces of wet cardboard.

“The finished mats not only look bright and colourful but are lightweight, insulated and waterproof, a welcome alternative to bare concrete or water-absorbing cardboard.”

Jonathan Billings, chief executive of The Wellspring, added: “The mats are brilliant – as well as a great way to reuse wasteful plastic bags, they are also providing support to homeless people in Stockport and Manchester.

“The mats will be given out over the winter by Wellspring staff as part of their regular outreach to people on the streets over this winter.”


Art Club weaves mats out of plastic bags for rough sleepers