Over the last two years our group has come a long way from when we used to meet in the small porch room at the front of the church. When I originally had the idea of setting up the group, I thought we could meet perhaps once a month, with people bringing their own projects along, and that we would occasionally work towards charity projects.
I had recently gone part-time at work and wanted an outlet to meet like-minded people who enjoyed knitting and crocheting. Although I can do both, as the others in the group will tell you, I’m not an expert! It was for this reason I had to think long and hard about whether I was the right person who should be setting up this group. But something was telling me that I must give it a go. I wanted to give an opportunity for people to come not only for the craft but, I think, more importantly, for the friendship.
I asked around various people for advice and to get a few more ideas on how to approach getting the project off the ground. It was then that I was put in touch with Wendy from Lesley Shand Funeral Directors and through her found that they would supply us with wool and patterns for the Preemies UK charity. They also give us money for the endless cups of tea and coffee we drink! I was also very lucky that I had so much help and support from Broadstone Methodist Church, with lots of donations of other wool, patterns, knitting needles, buttons etc. and of course advice and prayers. I then advertised the group on the notice boards on the Broadway, in the library, and of course within the church.
The morning of the first meeting came and I sat very nervously on my own in the porch room, with all the wool etc. surrounding me, wondering if anyone would show up. But not for long. I was soon joined by a few others who had come along for support. By the end of the first morning we had eight ladies. They were also keen to meet every week, rather than once a month, which we have done ever since. Yes we were off!
Over the following weeks and months we gradually had more more ladies join the group and we were soon spilling into the coffee lounge. Something had to be done as we were gradually losing elbow room. It was then that we moved into the Sanctuary. We now have all the space we need and still have that all important link to the coffee lounge, as we often get people who will come in just for a quick chat, to offer donations or to look at our projects.
So what has the group been up to recently? Well, we have completed over 200 items for Preemies UK in the last 3 months, a large number for the Link to Hope shoe box appeal, 71 for the Knit for Peace charity who provide items for hospitals, hospices, women’s refuges, refugee drop in centres, prisons, community groups and developing countries. Another 42 items consisting of hats, mitts and socks were sent to St George’s Methodist Church Bournemouth for the homeless. We also raised £126.12 for the British Legion Poppy Appeal after knitting and crocheting 100 poppies.
So have the last couple of years been successful? Yes, I think we have been very successful as a group. It has amazed me how many people have joined the group, how much fun we have and how therapeutic it has been, but more importantly how we have helped others by producing the various items for all the charity projects.
Thank you all.