Norfolk woman designs scarf for Wrapped in Courage campaign
Jen Lados (left) of Haldimand-Norfolk Women's Services displays the scarf she designed as part of the Ontario Association of Interval & Transition Houses (OAITH) 2017 'Wrapped in Courage' campaign. Throughout the month of November, scarves were sold across the province in support of women's shelters and to bring awareness to violence against women and children. Alongside Lados is Jane Scheel, executive director at Haldimand-Norfolk Women's Services. JACOB ROBINSON/Simcoe Reformer
When Jen Lados was approached to design a scarf in support of ending violence against women she didn't have to think twice.
Lados, a staff member at Haldimand-Norfolk Women's Services (HNWS) for 15 years and a longtime champion of local arts programs, got to work immediately.
“Art, for me, has always been my therapy and what I use to heal, to inspire others,” said Lados, a mixed media artist who teaches at the Lake Erie Arts Academy in her spare time. “I'm kind of one of the resident artists here at Women's Services and was always heavily involved in our art auction so when Jane (Scheel, HNWS executive director) came and said 'would you be interested?' I had never designed a scarf before, but was all about it.”
The opportunity for Lados came about through the Ontario Association of Interval & Transition Houses (OAITH) 'Wrapped in Courage' campaign. Throughout the month of November, purple scarves (and men's ties) are sold by shelters in Ontario as not simply a fundraiser but a way to create awareness of violence against women and children. In its five-year history, this is the first time a printed scarf with a unique design was issued to the public.
Lados, a Delhi native, went with an abstract look – her goal was to create something that flowed. She used watercolour and wrote the campaign slogan; 'The Courage of a Woman Alone is not Enough' and added women's symbols to further highlight the piece.
Lados' work was featured Nov. 23 at Queen's Park in Toronto as she and members of the OAITH were honoured before the provincial Legislature.
“The fact that the MPPs gave a special shout-out to shelters and to shelter staff and the hard work we do (gave me) nothing but pride,” said Lados, a community educator, and S.T.A.R. (Stop Abuse in Relationships) counsellor. “It was amazing to know the work we do is recognized and appreciated by the MPPs.”
The scarf has been a hot commodity across the province, something Lados saw first hand while making her way to Toronto alongside Scheel.
“When we were at Queen's Park and even in the train station I'm seeing people from all across Ontario wearing my artwork - but even more importantly – in the name of supporting women and children fleeing from abuse,” said Lados.
Well over 400 scarves have been purchased from Haldimand-Norfolk Women's Services alone since Nov. 1. Scheel feels they've strengthened ties between everyone in the field.
“It's been amazing,” Scheel began. “I think sometimes we don't always connect as a province, so it's been a way to sort of bring the rural and urban together and recognize the incredible skill and talent of the workforce in violence against women.”
More information on the campaign can be found at wrappedincourage.wixsite.com/wrappedincourage.