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Knitting together to help under-privileged children

KINDHEARTED Longhurst Group customers have donated over 1,000 items of hand-stitched clothing to under-privileged children across the globe.

The Knit and Natter groups, which are based at Spire Housing schemes at Crispian Court and Cordwainers in Rushden, Farrar Court in Irthlingborough and The Forresters in Raunds, have lovingly-crafted the pieces after being inspired by the Dress a Girl Around the World campaign by Hope 4 Women International.

The clothing knitted by the group is sent to the Phoenix Resource Centre in Wellingborough, which helps to distribute the creations on their behalf.

The latest batch of nearly 200 items means that Spire’s Knit and Natter groups have now made and donated over 1,000 items in total since last April; knitting 189 in one month alone!

Since its launch in 2009, The Dress a Girl Around the World campaign has delivered over 300,000 items of clothing to 81 countries.

Maria Meyerhoff, Scheme Assistant at Spire Homes, part of Longhurst Group, said: “I found out about Dresses Around the World a few years ago and, after some of the ladies at Crispian Court decided to take up knitting around Christmas, I knew we could put their newly discovered craft skills to good use.

“We didn’t set out with a specific target in mind; we’ve kept it as an informal weekly session for people who enjoy it. I’ve been really impressed with the dedication everyone’s shown and how quickly we’ve reached nearly 1,000 items!

“It’s given residents something to focus on, mentally and physically. Ladies with arthritis have benefitted because it’s keeping their fingers moving. It’s also good from a social aspect as it’s bringing people together.

“Today, there are about 20 people who are regularly involved in the Knit and Natter groups and they all enjoy it very much. There are also around 20 colleagues from Spire who have been involved in knitting items as well.

“The clothing that customers have made have gone all over the world, with the latest batch going off to children in Ghana.

“I am over whelmed with the creativity and hard work everyone has put in and overjoyed that they still want to continue in helping to provide clothes for under-privileged children.

“We’ve had a huge amount of support at all the schemes where we have Knit and Natter groups. They’ve all been fantastic supporters and we can’t say thank you enough.”

She added: “One thing I will say is that if anyone would like to donate wool, blankets and clothing, it would be gratefully received as, with all the hard work that is going on, supplies are running low!”

To donate items, please email 

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