Brighton residents sew ‘Threads of Survival’ quilts to celebrate 75 years of the NHS

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, to make two quilts one celebrating and one highlighting the dangers faced by the NHS as she turns 75 years old on 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 in locations across the country. All of the quilts represent the coming together of people from a range of communities to support the NHS and NHS workers.

Brighton and Hove Scroll of Support for the NHS which is over 120 metres long has eloquent and moving messages from more than 3,000 people and will be displayed alongside the quilts.

Louise Bray Allen, a community mental health nurse, will open the ‘Threads of Survival’ exhibition at Dorset Gardens Methodist Church, Dorset Gardens, Brighton BN2 1SA at 11am, accompanied by Ukrainian Voices women’s choir. The exhibition will be open until 4pm on Saturday 1 July to Monday, 3 July when it closes at 3pm.

On 5 July, the Threads of Survival group will be celebrating the NHS birthday with Sussex Defend the NHS. Professor Rob Galloway, an A&E consultant and medical advisor to the NHS Support Federation will be speaking at 10 30am outside the ONCA gallery. The quilts will be displayed in the ONCA Gallery Window, 14 St George’s Place, Brighton BN1 4GB from Wednesday 05 July (NHS birthday) to 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 of course 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 from cuts in funding, extensive privatisation, the systemic undervaluing of NHS workers, chronic understaffing, and crises in availability of services for e.g. “Covid Aftermath”, “Claps don’t pay the bills”, “Healthcare not Wealthcare”, NHS SOS, the massive waiting lists for children and adults waiting for mental health treatment and many more.

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.”

This article was published by Brighton and Hove News on Saturday 01 July.

Vrroom motor racing is open at Brighton Marina

John Parvin and Aidan Bowen met at school in Brighton. In 1992 they set up an independent tech firm selling Apple products. In 2015, they came up with the concept Vrroom which is a virtual race room. Three weeks ago they opened their doors at Brighton Marina and have already had hundreds of people through the door. They bring semi-professional level driver training equipment that’s affordable to the citizens of Brighton and Hove and beyond.

Mr Parvin said: “This is not an arcade.” They have 46 professional racing tracks from around the world such as Silverstone, Monza, Spa, Barcelona and Redbull Ring. Last week they featured the Barcelona track to coincide with the Grand Prix taking place there.

When asked why Vrroom was unique, Mr Parvin said they have the best equipment and the best environment to showcase it. Many in the industry feel that sim racing helps them once they enter the real tracks.

Vrroom motor racing outside

Current F1 World Champion Max Verstappen competes in sim racing and many in the industry feel that sim racing helps them once they enter the real tracks. This is semi-professional driving training rather than an arcade game and can be used for a training ground as a transition into real racing.

He said there is a similar venue near St Paul’s in London but it’s an arcade. He explained the difference: “In an arcade, you drive against the computer. All the other cars are driven by a computer. We are fundamentally different from an arcade.

Here (at Vrroom), you drive against real people. People don’t come to race, they come to set the fastest lap which is a time attack… We don’t try to make it easy, we try to make it real. It’s very hard to start with. In the game, they are telling you, you are brilliant. In the game, you start at the back and finish first. At Vrroom, if you start at the back, you usually finish at the back.”

I drove a Fiat 595 which is a racing version of a Fiat 500 on the Vallelunga track in Rome. The first lap was all about learning to steer a very light wheel and navigate the bends in the track. I got the hang of it after a few laps and then Mr Parvin joined me on the track.

The track is scanned using lasers and helps racing drivers prepare for races and get them used to both the track and the car they are driving. Mr Parvin said: “Vrroom is affordable and your life is not in danger.”

Roz Scott simulator

Roz Scott simulatorVrroom simulator

Accessibility to motorsport is only available to those people who have multi million pound parents who can afford it. It is a minimum £35K year to race in motorsport. However, virtual motorsport is accessible to anyone. It breaks down all these barriers and makes the enjoyment of this sport accessible to anyone. In excess of 100,000 play every minute of every day.

Brighton Marina Vrroom is one of its kind. Drivers can experience a huge variety of cars such as Mazda MX5 to F1 F2, F3 and F4, single seater F1 cars to endurance sports cars such as Porsche,Lambo, Mercedes benz, & McClaren.

The simulators have forged carbon fibre gears, pro esport pedals, a motion platform and the expression on the screen is 55’display offering 180-degree display of visual immersion.

It is also a great training ground for young adults wanting to learn to drive.

Tickets cost £18.50 for 20 minutes driving in a simulator from You can race with 12 other people at the same time in 12 simulators on a variety of tracks and there is coffee and a fully licensed bar to relax in after the event. You can follow Vrroom on Instagram and Facebook.

Vrroom is not recommended for children under 12 years old because the driving is challenging they might not be able to reach the pedals.

You can follow Vrroom on Instagram: @Vroom_Brighton or Facebook at Vrroom virtual race room.