Nattering knitters are charity champs

Knitter Pat Hall (seated) with some of her fellow craftswomen who raised �1,200 by producing toys and blankets from their group in the Link shop in Villette Road, Sunderland
Knitter Pat Hall (seated) with some of her fellow craftswomen who raised �1,200 by producing toys and blankets from their group in the Link shop in Villette Road, Sunderland
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NATTY knitters have cast their way to an impressive donation to an armed forces charity.

The Crafty Knitters, who meet every week in Hendon, have spent a year knitting and selling on their creations to raise £1,200 to help families who have lost loved ones in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Demand for their teddy bears, baby blankets and a host of other knitted collectables was so high that they were able to sell their wares at local fairs, as well as to family and friends.

The cash is being handed over to Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) Forces Help.

Organiser Jean Moore, 67, said: “We pick a different charity every year and this year we wanted to do something for the armed forces, but wanted to try and incorporate children.

“We contacted SSAFA and they asked if we wanted to raise money for the siblings of soldiers killed in conflict.”

Keen knitter Jean, of Canon Cockin Street, said demand had been especially high for hairbands and ‘Dammit Dolls’ – knitted stress-relief dolls.

“We couldn’t keep up at times,” she said.

The Crafty Knitters came together after two separate craft and knitting groups funded by regeneration project Back on the Map came to an end.

They were given £300 of funding from housing group Gentoo, which they used to stock up on supplies so they could knit their way to charity success.

Jean added: “It gets people out of the house, because the majority of us are over 60 and some over 70s.

“There are a couple of younger ones who have illnesses and ailments, but it gets them out of the house and into a group.

“It stops depression and gives us a change of conversation.

“We don’t pay for any instructors, we just all muck in and help each other.

“While we are having a natter, we are helping charities out.”