Xmas team is sew good

Laura Holmes, Jo Rising and Emma Garrett
Laura Holmes, Jo Rising and Emma Garrett

Hats off to Lemon & Ginger, a crafty collective which last year helped raised hundreds of pounds for The Big Knit.

The group started meeting at the Pavilion at the Park (in Bedford Park) every Monday morning for people to knit crochet or sew.

The idea was the brainchild of Laura Holmes and Emma Garrett, – providing an opportunity for people of all ages to socialise while getting crafty and doing something positive for local charities.

The group’s first collaborative work was to knit hats for Innocent Smoothie bottles as part of the Big Knit campaign, raising money for Age UK Bedfordshire.

For every be-hatted bottle sold, 25p was donated to Age UK with the crafty knitters producing 207 hats before moving on to their second major project – Christmas tree decorations for the Christmas Tree Festival at St Paul’s Church in Bedford. Funds raised wil help support the Friends of Bedford Hospital charity.

Jo Rising, information and advice manager for Age UK Bedfordshire, said: “By getting involved with Age UK and Innocent’s Big Knit Campaign 2015, Lemon & Ginger have really made a difference to help keep older people warm and well in winter - crucial.

“In the past 11 years an extraordinary £1.7 million has been raised by the knitting of woolly hats; £5 helps to pay the volunteer advisors’ expenses to visit someone that is housebound,  £20 purchases an emergency food and blanket pack to help older people survive the extreme cold weather while £50 helps to provide a support worker to help older people through a life crisis such as bereavement, debt, hospital admission or other problems.”

Since its inception in 2003, knitters have produced more than five million hats.

Last year the Big Knit raised over £215,000. Emma said: “As many as 25,000 older people’s lives are at risk because of the cold, and although each of our little hats is tiny, collectively they really do make a enormous difference.” Laura added:“We have had a lot of fun in the process – Emma and I have even had images of ourselves recreated in Innocent Smoothie hats –fame at last!”

Lemon & Ginger will meet again on January 11, and welcomes new members.

> For more information about the group contact Emma Garrett (The Pavilion) on 07970 284823 or Laura Holmes (Lemon & Ginger) on 07766 344375.