Residents of Brighton and Hove aged from 11 to 82 have been inspired to take up their needles to join the Threads of Survival project.
They have made two quilts – one celebrating the NHS and one highlighting the dangers that it faces as it turns 75 years old on Wednesday (5 July).
Brighton and Hove Threads of Survival is part of a national campaign which started during lockdown.
The Brighton and Hove quilts are the most recent of 30 quilts made by communities across the country.
All of the quilts represent the coming together of people from a range of communities to support the health service and NHS workers.
And the Brighton and Hove Scroll of Support for the NHS, which is over 120 metres long, includes messages from more than 3,000 people and will be displayed alongside the quilts.
Louise Bray Allen, a community mental health nurse, is due to open the exhibition at the Dorset Gardens Methodist Church, in Dorset Gardens, Brighton, at 11am today (Satursay 1 July).
She is due to be accompanied by the Ukrainian Voices women’s choir.
The exhibition is scheduled to be open until 4pm today and to run until Monday (3 July) at 3pm.
On Wednesday (5 July), the Threads of Survival group is due to celebrate the NHS anniversary with Sussex Defend the NHS.
Professor Rob Galloway, an A&E consultant and medical adviser to the NHS Support Federation, is expected to speak at 10.30am outside the ONCA gallery.
The quilts will be displayed in the ONCA gallery window, at 14 St George’s Place, Brighton, from Wednesday (5 July) to the following Monday (10 July).
There will be a stall outside the gallery all day, with opportunities to sign NHS “birthday cards”, add personal messages to the NHS Scroll and eat some cake.
Many of the squares movingly express individuals’ appreciation of the NHS and NHS workers: “The NHS saved my life … Born in hospital, bones mended, life saved … Migrants make the NHS.”
Others highlight the current threats to the NHS including cuts in funding, extensive privatisation, the systemic undervaluing of NHS workers, chronic understaffing and crises in availability of services.
Sean de Podesta, from Sussex Defend the NHS, who inspired the NHS Scroll, said: “Since 2018 I have been going around the city listening to people’s experiences of the NHS.
“I know how precious it is to so many people. The Threads of Survival exhibitions are an opportunity for people to see something beautiful, to reflect on what the NHS means to them and what we need to do to ensure its survival.”
Madeleine Dickens, from the Threads of Survival project, said: “We urge everyone to come along to see the inspirational quilts and scroll and to join in the events.
“As the quilts and the scroll graphically show, so many people are deeply concerned about the dismantling of the NHS and what is being inflicted on the NHS and NHS workers.”