Always starting something new: Terry Millard reports on regular opportunities to support people

It seems funny to be thinking of new beginnings when the end of the year is in sight. But there are many new beginnings in life; some big and many that are small. If, like me, you knit or crochet, then the act of finding a new pattern and then starting that project can be deeply satisfying. Especially as you start on that new ball of wool after choosing the colour for your project. Or it might be the wool you are using is made from many oddments, but you still have that thrill as the project begins to grow.

We are very fortunate at Broadstone Methodist Knit and Natter Group, as we have many donations of wool (which we always gratefully accept). Some balls that have been donated are full but many are the small oddment balls that you have left after making an item. The ladies with their skill are still able to put these to good use, by making colourful texted blankets, memory twiddle mitts, hats, scarves, gloves and various other items.

One of the projects was making small toys for baby baskets that are going to Malawi, as part of the Butterfly Space Project. The Butterfly Space Project have begun providing new mothers at the local hospital with a basket full of helpful supplies. The concept is simple: it is much safer for a baby to sleep separately from the mother than in the same bed. The risk is that the mother may roll onto and harm the baby. It is unfortunately a common cause of infant death. The baskets are hand woven by local women and fitted with a foam mattress to serve as an infant bed. They then fill the baskets with baby clothes, chitenge (local fabric), sanitary pads, female condoms, stuffed animal toys, knitted blankets, malaria net, soap, Vaseline, nappies, face cloth, painkillers, bra, etc. The cost per basket is approximately £5. To find out more about all the Butterfly Space Projects go to: www.butterflyspacemalawi.com

We also were very pleased to make up three poppy wreaths for Remembrance Sunday, made with over one hundred knitted and crocheted poppies. At first they were used by the British Legion, who kindly gave the wreath bases to us, for an event for new members and thank you reception for their poppy collectors on Wednesday 25 October. We then placed them into the church for Remembrance Sunday.

The clocks have just gone back and the days and nights have definitely turned colder as I write this article and the homeless are at the forefront of my mind. On 17 November I will be taking part in an event and sleeping along with many other individuals and local businesses outside with a cardboard box for shelter. The Big Sleep Easy is organised by the YMCA to help fundraise and raise awareness of the homeless. More about this will follow after the event. We as a group already support and continue to support the homeless by making hats, scarves and gloves to try to help them. Some of the hats, scarves and gloves made also went into shoeboxes for the Link to Hope Shoebox appeal who send them to Romania, Moldova, Ukraine and Bulgaria. Other charities we made for and continue to support are Knit for Peace and Preemies UK.

So although as we start each new project and it might be just a small item, it is like dropping a pebble into a pond and has a ripple effect, hopefully helping to change other peoples lives for the better.

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