The Heart Pillow Club is an integral part of life in The British School in The Netherlands’ Voorschoten campus, and it has brought together students from all backgrounds and ages to work towards a common cause.
On the surface, it helps students build and extend their skills using a sewing machine and working with fabrics, but it delves far deeper than that. Each heart pillow created by the students is unique and a fantastic opportunity to give back to the community.
Each pillow is specially created for women who have undergone breast cancer surgery. Their purpose is to make recovery as painless as possible. The design allows women to ease their discomfort by alleviating pressure from sensitive areas of the chest. The large pillow can fit comfortably under an arm, and the smaller one rests snugly against a seatbelt to do this. The elegant and comfortable design allows any woman to have the dignified recovery they deserve.
So the club doesn’t just teach physical skills; it also teaches the values that live at the core of BSN’s teaching. The club fosters an environment of compassion towards strangers, encourages creativity, offers an opportunity for collaboration, and teaches perseverance when the machines are stubborn. These are all principles found in the BSN character profile, which give students invaluable life skills and allow us to become more rounded individuals in society.
On 6 November, the members were very excited to greet Janice de Vries, Chair of the American Women’s Club of The Hague, who came to pick up all the pillows created from the last academic year. Each pillow that was made is vastly different from the other, and some are even personalised with student names. Janice will deliver the pillows to women who have undergone these surgeries, where they can choose the pillow they fall in love with the most.
For many breast cancer survivors, the pillows don’t just provide physical comfort, but they can also offer emotional support. Knowing that someone worked so hard on something just for you is very important, and the tactile aspect of the gift allows them to have a tangible representation of the support they have in the community. Janice was happy to tell the club members:
“On behalf of the American Women’s Club of The Hague and all the breast cancer patients we serve, I would like to extend my heartfelt thank you for your contribution to this wonderful project.”
All the members of the Heart Pillow Club radiate a positivity that the BSN will always be proud to foster. Student leader of the Heart Pillow Club, Lily, spoke fondly about the environment created every Monday lunchtime. Lily feels that the members create an open and honest space with creativity at its heart. The club attracts students from all years on the Senior School campus, and everyone knows and respects one another. There is a plethora of reasons to join such a wonderfully positive club; Sophia said, “It was a great opportunity for me to reflect on both the service and creativity strands of CAS.” She was enthusiastic about the sewing skills she has learned, having attended the club so regularly, and she recognises the value she receives from it beyond simply the academic.
My name is August, and I am an A level student at SSV. I have been at the BSN since foundation 1, and have loved all my time here. I have always enjoyed writing, and have been creating stories since I could first read. Currently, I am working on an article for Quill and Scroll, with much enthusiasm from the supporting staff.