We’ll have you in stitches

Danielle LeGare

Danielle LeGare

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SCORES of devoted knitters have been wielding their needles to help homelessness charity Bethany Christian Trust in the run-up to Christmas.

The charity is asking supporters to turn out festive knitted knick knacks which it can give to its Christmas donors to say thank you.

People taking part in the Just Knit campaign have been issued with patterns for a woolly Christmas tree, mini stockings and Christmas hat, and it is hoped that 500 of them will have been created by December 2.

Each will be given to someone who makes a £10 donation, with the aim of raising £5000 to help homeless and vulnerable people during the winter.

Organiser Danielle Legare said: “Bethany has a lot of supporters who enjoy knitting and they don’t have anyone to knit for. Bethany was organising virtual gifts this year, where supporters could make a donation to provide service users with a night in the Christmas shelter, a Christmas meal and presents, so we took those two ideas and thought it would be nice for those who donated to receive a thank you and a little gift reminding them of how they have helped support Bethany and its service users.

“Each gift represents where the donations will be going.”

The charity has been sending out knitting patterns to its volunteers. Ms Legare said she already knew of 75 who had signed up, but more were sending in their work all the time.

She said: “It’s great because people are making their own modifications. I started out by reaching out to church groups, women’s guilds, things like that, then expanded to some knitting groups in the area.

“I’ve got 75 knitters I know of, but I’m pleasantly surprised that I’ve been receiving knitting from people I didn’t know were doing it.”

So far, 120 have been submitted and the charity is keen to encourage last-minute contributors.

She said: “We’ve got a wide range of patterns and we’ve just added some easier versions, so we’ve now got even more people who are involved. The patterns are on the website and I’m happy to send hard copies out of all the patterns and instructions.”

Patterns can be found online at www.bethanychristiantrust.com or hard copies can be requested from Cat Rawlinson-Watkins on catheriner-w@bethanychristiantrust.com or 0131-561 8921. Donations in exchange for a knitted gift can be made online or in Bethany shops during December.

The charity also raises money to fund its work with the homeless by selling its popular Caring Christmas Trees. The Nordman firs are available to buy from www.caringchristmas trees.com or 0845 111 8733.