An extra care service based in Stourport-on-Severn is the home of some unlikely life savers, knitting their way to the aid of others.
Residents and friends of the School Gardens Extra Care Service, meet regularly and knit for local, national and even international initiatives, including supporting those affected by the war in Ukraine.
Radis Community Care is the care provider at Worcestershire County Council’s School Gardens, and enables residents who require support to live independently in their own homes and local community.
The School Gardens Knitting Club was set up five years ago by a School Gardens resident and has been going from strength to strength ever since.
The club members knit a variety of garments, from hats and mittens to matinee jackets with 30 to 40 different items being produced by the club every month.
One member of the club has even earned herself the title of ‘Hazel the Hat’ due to the sheer number of hats she can expertly produce in a week.
The majority of the group started knitting from a young age, with two club members Jill and Jackie being taught how to knit during World War II when they were evacuated to their grandparents’ houses.
Jackie said: “The teachers took us to the air raid shelters at school where there was a big box with all this plain knitting in it. They told us to take a piece of knitting and knit for victory!”
In addition to the mental and physical health benefits of knitting, this particular group’s knitting has benefited several different causes from Coventry Hospital, to church groups donating goods and clothing to Ukrainian families and Knit For Peace, an organisation teaching vulnerable people to knit and giving the created goods to those in need.
Club member Brenda said: “I love it – even though I started knitting years ago. I can’t put it down!”
Charlotte Hunter, Radis’s service manager at School Gardens Extra Care Service said: “It gives me and the other staff members great pleasure in being able to support these ladies with what they do.
“It’s great for them, knitting has so many benefits to both mental and physical health – from helping with dexterity, to muscle memory to being mood-boosting. It’s also great for the charities which they are supporting with all their hard work.
“Keep up the great work, and thank you to the club for everything they do!”