Sara Gration, Saylavy business owner and school governor, she spends her free time supporting her church as a Parish Church Councilor and Sundy School teacher. If that wasn’t enough, the mother of two woke up and decided she wanted to knit for the homeless!
On the 15th March 2017 Sara came up with the idea to set up ‘The Big Derby Knit’ to get people all over Derbyshire knitting scarves for the homeless and vulnerable in Derby. The target was to knit 200 scarves to give to The Padley Group – 150 of these to be used to make the Christmas parcels and a further 50 to be distributed when the weather gets colder in the autumn. The deadline set was October 2017, but this has been achieved within 5 months! People all over Derbyshire have been knitting.
The project also aims to increase the public awareness of the homeless and vulnerable and educate people how they can help.
There has been a lot of publicity recently regarding the increased number of people living on the streets in Derby and the increase of both drug and alcohol abuse in public places.
The Padley Group provides meals, over night accommodation and professional support and care for the homeless and vulnerable. Meal vouchers can be purchased which can be given to the needy on the streets instead of giving cash which can sometimes be used to fund addictions.
The Big Derby Knit wanted to show people how they can help the homeless and vulnerable in positive ways and by hand knitting scarves we believe that the people we are helping will know that they are cared for.
Due to the huge success of this project the Big Derby Knit will move straight onto project number 2! The next project is to knit knee blankets and twiddle muffs; these will be distributed to Derby Royal Hospital and nursing homes to help provide comfort to dementia patients. We are also researching the possibility of creating a twiddle blanket to help children with autism.
Knitting is an excellent way to help reduce depression, stress and anxiety as well as helping arthritis sufferers maintain joint movement. It can also be a way to meet people socially with various ‘knit and natter’ groups spread over Derbyshire.
The Big Derby Knit will be planning a coffee morning in October to allow everyone to meet up, share ideas and get the second project underway.
If you want to get involved, make a donation or provide materials get in touch via Facebook or twitter: @BigDerbyKnit