A life-sized cloth woman from Newcastle has started work on the Isle of Wight, with people with learning disabilities.

Josephine, an anatomically accurate fabric character licensed from Newcastle-based charity, The Josephine and Jack Project, was made by North East seamstress Sarah Johnson, and is expecting a specially-made, life-sized cloth man, Jack, to join her soon.

Community Learning Disability Nurse Sue Smith explained: “I met Josephine several years ago in Newcastle and always hoped we’d have one of our own one day as I immediately saw the potential impact of her work, which involves active discussion in small groups about important topics, like consent and contraception.”

Josephine on the Isle of Wight with The Josephine and Jack Project trainer, Martine Dellard.

Sue went on: “All Josephines have biological features that help those with learning
difficulties to understand and prepare for experiences that affect us all, such as sexual and
general health, pregnancy and routine medical procedures, like cervical and breast
screening tests.
“But you can also choose exactly how you’d like your Josephine to look, and we added
specific characteristics to help those we work with to relate to her more easily, so our
Josephine wears a hearing aid and also has a pair of glasses.”

Simon James, Chief Executive at The Josephine and Jack Project, said: “We’re thrilled to be working with Sue and her team to support the island’s adults and young people with learning disabilities to lead full and rich lives.
“Our courses reached 1,100 people last year and participants reported an average
improvement in wellbeing of almost 12 per cent.”

The Project wants to raise £2,500 towards its goal of making a legion of Josephines and Jacks to take control of the country, or at least make sure that no disabled person is more than an hour away from them.

There are already Josephines and Jacks in Scotland, Northumberland and London.

Simon continued: “Through working with dedicated teams like Sue’s, we’re able to reach
even more individuals with our work and every little really does help. We appreciate every bit of support to help us increase our impact, both locally and further afield.”

To donate to the campaign, or to find out more about The Josephine and Jack Project, visit

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