Scarf drive launched to help those in need in Sunderland

Members of the Stich and Bitch Knitting Club, who meet at Pop Recs Ltd., Grange Terrace, Sunderland
Members of the Stich and Bitch Knitting Club, who meet at Pop Recs Ltd., Grange Terrace, Sunderland
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City knitters are stitching for a good cause after launching a scarf drive.

For the second year-running, the crafty members of the Stitch and Bitch club at Pop Recs in Grange Terrace are asking members and non-members to knit or crochet scarfs, hats and blankets for those in need.

The woolly items will be donated to the homeless, as well as women in hostels and older people who live alone and struggle with heating bills.

Kim Minshall, founder of the group which meets weekly, said: “It was first suggested by one of our members last year. At first we were going to leave scarves on benches for the homeless, but because the weather was so bad we took them to soup kitchens and women’s hostels where they were given out with the Christmas dinners.

“At first, we thought it was just a way of helping people to keep warm, but a lot of these people hadn’t received a present for years and they were really touched by it. It’s a little thing, but it shows that someone is thinking about them and has gone to the effort of spending a day to knit something for them.”

Kim added: “We hope that this year will be even better than last year and we get a lot more scarfs handed in. I think it might help that we were donated a large amount of wool, by a lady called Nancey, who sadly passed away. So while stocks last there is no cost to the crafters, just their skills and time.”

The Stitch and Bitch group meets every Saturday, from 11am to 1pm, at Pop Recs and anyone is welcome to come along and make a scarf or donate some wool. People can also pick up wool to make the scarves in their own time.

As well as meeting weekly, the group also hosts Knit Nights once a month at Pop Recs. The most recent Knit Night, in August, featured a Victorian sock machine demo and was attended by around 40 people.

The Knit Nights have been set up with an aim of raising some cash for Pop Recs, a community culture hub which, as well as serving coffee and food, hosts gigs, exhibitions, writing sessions and more for people of all ages.