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The woollen house built from 4,677 scarves - with one powerful message

PUBLISHED: 21:10 08 October 2019 | UPDATED: 21:10 08 October 2019

St Martins, the homeless charity, have constructed a woollen house out of scarfs in Norwich Carhedral to provide a visual representation of the scale of homelessness in England..
Pictured are staff from St Martins


Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2019

St Martins, the homeless charity, have constructed a woollen house out of scarfs in Norwich Carhedral to provide a visual representation of the scale of homelessness in England.. Pictured are staff from St Martins Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2019

Archant 2019

With its flint, Caen stone and glass, few buildings cast a more recognisable figure than Norwich Cathedral.

St Martins, the homeless charity, have constructed a woollen house out of scarfs in Norwich Carhedral to provide a visual representation of the scale of homelessness in England..

Pictured is Jan Sheldon, CEO St Martins and Canon Andy Bryant.


Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2019St Martins, the homeless charity, have constructed a woollen house out of scarfs in Norwich Carhedral to provide a visual representation of the scale of homelessness in England.. Pictured is Jan Sheldon, CEO St Martins and Canon Andy Bryant. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2019

However, for the next three weeks, a structure made of an entirely different material altogether will be nestled within the historic building - with a powerful message to boot.

Norwich-based homelessness charity St Martins Housing Trust has teamed up with the cathedral to knit together a woollen house, which is now proudly displayed inside the cathedral.

The striking house is made of 4,677 scarves - or woollen bricks - to represent the 4,677 people forced to sleep rough in England in the past year.

Poignantly, one in eight of these scarves are black, to represent the number of people that died on the streets while sleeping rough.

St Martins, the homeless charity, have constructed a woollen house out of scarfs in Norwich Carhedral to provide a visual representation of the scale of homelessness in England..

Pictured is Jan Sheldon, CEO St Martins and Canon Andy Bryant.


Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2019St Martins, the homeless charity, have constructed a woollen house out of scarfs in Norwich Carhedral to provide a visual representation of the scale of homelessness in England.. Pictured is Jan Sheldon, CEO St Martins and Canon Andy Bryant. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2019

The ambitious project was brought about by Phillip Rowe, who co-ordinates St Martins' training centre, which provides learning and development opportunities for those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

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Mr Rowe said: "The completed house will be a visual representation of homelessness.

"We want people to reflect on the fact that each scarf is unique and different, just as each person who slept rough is an individual, with hopes, dreams, achievements and disappointments.

St Martins, the homeless charity, have constructed a woollen house out of scarfs in Norwich Carhedral to provide a visual representation of the scale of homelessness in England..

Pictured is Jan Sheldon, CEO St Martins 


Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2019St Martins, the homeless charity, have constructed a woollen house out of scarfs in Norwich Carhedral to provide a visual representation of the scale of homelessness in England.. Pictured is Jan Sheldon, CEO St Martins Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2019

"Each person's circumstances are different and at St Martins we treat everybody with respect and without judgement. We hope the knitted house will encourage others to do the same."

The finished house was unveiled within the cathedral on Monday, in the north transept, where it will be displayed until October 27.

While the house itself is made from wool, a structure for it has been provided by Longwater Supplies, which has worked alongside St Martins in the project.

The display includes information boards sharing the many ways they can help rough sleepers and raising awareness of the help on offer to them.

St Martins, the homeless charity, have constructed a woollen house out of scarfs in Norwich Carhedral to provide a visual representation of the scale of homelessness in England..


Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2019St Martins, the homeless charity, have constructed a woollen house out of scarfs in Norwich Carhedral to provide a visual representation of the scale of homelessness in England.. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2019

The installation coincides with World Homeless Day, which is this Thursday - the same day the charity will discover if it can open a new homeless hub on Recorder Road in Norwich.

Once the house is dismantled, the scarves will be distributed around the region to those most in need of them.

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