'Children run happily through my creation and that's amazing'

Brigitte, Rainham Hall

Originally from Hungary, Brigitte felt disconnected from where she lived, but following the birth of her daughter, Brigitte began to regularly visit Rainham Hall. It was on one of these visits that she was approached to help in the estate’s garden.

Through working with the gardeners Brigitte has been able to utilise her design background to create magical spaces that will enrich her child’s future. She also now feels a part of the community.

Rainham Hall has helped new mother Brigitte feel less isolated
Spending time at Rainham Hall gives Brigitte a sense of belonging
Brigitte feels her work at Rainham Hall will enrich her child's future
Volunteering at Rainham Hall connects Brigitte to the community
The woven willow tunnel in the garden at Rainham Hall, London
Brigitte weaving with her daughter at Rainham Hall, London Play Video
Rainham Hall has helped new mother Brigitte feel less isolated Spending time at Rainham Hall gives Brigitte a sense of belonging Brigitte feels her work at Rainham Hall will enrich her child's future Volunteering at Rainham Hall connects Brigitte to the community The woven willow tunnel in the garden at Rainham Hall, London

Audio transcript

Meeting a mind reader

'Annarose was born almost a year ago now. The first three months I think they are a bit difficult as a first time mother.

I’ve lived near Rainham Hall for a long time. There is a community garden and I thought "that's where we need to go."

I remember that morning. I looked outside and it was really cold. It was a really bleak day but we decided to go and that's where it all started.

Jesse, the gardener, asked me whether I was good at weaving. I don’t know whether he was a mind reader or something he just knew that I might be good at. I don’t know.

Anyway, I said "yeah I do have a fashion and textiles background. What do we need to weave?"

He showed me this willow planting that was just stalks at first and he told me loosely about the plants - what could be there one day. He wanted to create some tunnels that children or any other visitors could go through.'

 

" Now we actually see children running happily through those tunnels, and that’s really amazing. "
- Brigitte

Weaving a future

'It’s literally stepping into another world. It’s a very timeless place because we see nature and then we see this building, which has been here a couple of hundred years, and it just makes you stop for a moment and take a step back.

And you do feel relaxed straight away when you start actually doing something with your hands. It’s really strange.

Following nature, literally working with nature on a regular basis, going back and seeing how it evolves bit-by-bit and fading out some things and bringing in new ones, it really helps you to understand what you need to do, in your own life as well and with your child.

We created something that reflects back on us and on everybody else in the community.'