1000 origami cranes – A message of Hope for our community.

What could we do to bring us together as a community in a positive way while having to stay apart? This was the question CEO Pauline Morgan and Communication Lead Matt Garlinge asked themselves in January. The answer was found in the ancient art of origami. Pauline had read an article about an artist in America who had created an art installation of 1000 cranes during Covid and the result was uplifting and powerful. Could we possibly do something like that? Yes – we could!
1000 origami cranes – A message of Hope for our community.

In February, The Hamlet launched a ‘Spring Challenge’ to ask all of its children, young adults, families, staff, volunteers, supporters and wider community to take part in making beautiful, colourful displays for Spring in all 3 of its Norwich based centres. Each display is made of 1000 origami cranes, giving a message of hope and healing during these challenging times for everyone. Everyone has been involved and the results are outstanding.

The charity has also decided to submit the artwork created to ‘Grayson Perry’s art club TV show.’ Matt Garlinge who leads on marketing at the charity said, “This has been a real focus for so many of us who know and love the charity. It has been a really difficult time having to stay at home and not see work colleagues and all the students, children and families. Being able to make cranes and see it displayed so beautifully at the centres has really lifted me. I really hope Grayson will choose for our artwork to be included in his show and exhibition!”

In Japan, the crane bird is a mystical creature and is believed to live for a thousand years. As a result, in the Japanese, Chinese and Korean culture, the crane represents good fortune and longevity. The Japanese refer to the crane as the “bird of happiness”. Traditionally, it was believed that if you folded 1000 origami cranes, your wish would come true.

It has also become a symbol of hope and healing during challenging times.

On Saturday 20th March 2021 The Hamlet revealed its origami works of art as this day marks the Spring Equinox.

Lorraine Ewing Manager of The Hamlet Adult Services said, “The journey of the cranes has been amazing.  It has provided positive energy (an escape from Covid).  A journey that we have been able to share together from start to finish.  And now with the cranes and the challenge complete it brings us HOPE – that we will see new beginnings in our community.

Hamlet student Adam who has autism said, “Cranes fly from far and wide. They travel a long way. We have made these cranes as a message of hope. At The Hamlet we hope to travel soon, we hope to go back to our favourite places.”

Sophie Gatherole, who works as an Early Years Practitioner at The Hamlet preschool, commented, “When I heard about the challenge, I thought it was a wonderful opportunity to remain involved with the charity even though I could not be at work during Covid. The Hamlet has an incredibly special place in my heart, and I love working there so knowing I could help out from the safety of my home meant a lot. I made 130 cranes in total – even my cat joined in to help!”

The Hamlet Charity supports over 400 families living in and around Norfolk with disabilities and complex health conditions. The charity provides a range of activities for children, adults and families from birth. Including pre-school education, short breaks for disabled children, day care and a social club – Out of Hours, as well as parenting support including free training. Parent support groups and access to specialist staff removes the isolation that having a child with a disability can bring. Working with babies onwards, The Hamlet Charity provides a safe and nurturing environment for children, adults and their families during their Hamlet journey enabling them to explore choice and opportunity and unlock their potential.


Further information about The Hamlet and this project can be found on:




Ella Road Adult Service 1000 Origami Cranes


Johnson Place, Children's Service 1000 Origami Cranes


The Space, Adult Service 1000 Origami Cranes


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