Since 1962, Ashwell House has accommodated hundreds of girls who embarked on their studies in London.  This academic year students have maximized Ashwell’s public presence by launching a new website and opening social media accounts on Facebook and Instagram.

But an especially exciting step for Ashwell has been the process of creating a range of merchandise.  A few months ago, a small group of us worked together to come up with a design which would be suitable to print onto hoodies and sweatshirts.  In order to match the theme of Ashwell’s website, burgundy was chosen as the base colour along with white and grey.  These colours combined together could create a powerful sense of belonging.

Joana Barragan, a third year resident in Ashwell, played a large part in both the design and administration of the hoodies.  “The hardest part was incorporating a bit of every contribution into the final design. But at the same time, it was made easy because everyone was open-minded and focused on finding the best design for the whole of Ashwell and not just implementing their own ideas.”

After a lengthy process, 38 orders were placed to a leading merchandise company, with hoodies and sweaters being sent out to past residents in Malta, India, China and the Netherlands.

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“This is my third year in Ashwell, but I only needed one year for it to feel like a home to me,” Joana continued.  “It is a place to be grateful for, because it allows one to make sisterly friendships and grow as a person in an amazing environment.”  With the merchandise even going abroad internationally, the hoodies acted as a sign to former girls that they will always be a part of the Ashwell community.  “I am proud to have contributed to Ashwell, just like every other girl before me.  I think that having placed 38 orders in total really shows how excited the girls are to be identified as part of this hall of residence.  I would take my Ashwell sweatshirt anywhere because, not only is it beautiful but it means something special to me and I am proud to show it to the world.”

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Introducing merchandise to the house has been a carefully thought through initiative of the 2015/16 Ashwell Committee.  Joana shared her hopes for future years that a permanent stock can be supplied and refilled as needed.  “Leavers Hoodies is our garment provider and they’ve been doing a great job so far.  Maybe next time, Ashwell mugs!”