Community knitters meet weekly at various libraries around the country

Knitters support communities

by Ann van Engelen

The Knitting for Plunket and Communities Project was started more than 10 years ago by Kiwi Family Trust to help provide babies and small children warm woollen clothing.

“I worked as a nanny and observed what small children were wearing in the community, and it often wasn’t warm woollen clothing,” says national project coordinator Barbara Aitken.

“I was very aware that Plunket prefers babies to wear wool rather as a natural warm fibre — than acrylic, which doesn’t breathe, and children can have allergies to it.

“I started working for the Kiwi Family Trust 11 years ago and started the project in Christchurch with five knitters. We now have 500 knitters around the country. Our main objectives for the project are to help keep children and babies warm and to give knitters, many who live alone or in a home, a purpose to help combat social isolation. We love swapping ideas, patterns and wool. It is about feeling a part of a group. You don’t have to knit or crochet — you can sit and chat.

“It is what people want it to be on the day and is hugely therapeutic.

“The Kiwi Family Trust appreciates all the help and support that we receive from the libraries around the area and the volunteers that are involved in many ways.”

For more information to join a group contact barbara@kiwifamilytrust.org.