A new community group is using knitting and crocheting sessions to help combat loneliness - while giving the clothing they make to homeless people to stay warm.
‘The Purls Club’ was formed this summer and meets each week at The Invention Rooms Cafe on the Imperial College campus in White City.
There, they offer unique way for isolated members of the community to socialise through knitting and crochet lessons, while making warm clothes for the homeless and their pets - with more than 100 items made to date.
“Where I previously worked, I discovered loneliness was a huge a problem for the NHS and health organisations,” said ‘Purls’ founder member, Bridget Harris, from Old Oak.
An opportunity to socialise
Those experiences exposed Bridget to the fact many people who lived along got few opportunities to socialise, while homeless people continue to need help to live on the street. So, the idea for The Purls Club was borne of a desire to tackle the two issues head-on.
“I visited a homeless project lunch club to share health information and saw quite a lot of people that once they had eaten their meal would be back out on the street,” she added
“And people live alone for a number of reasons - their children have left home, they’ve retired, their partner has died, or they’ve developed a long-term illness and have to stay at home.”
Supporting and learning
The group has around 25 regular members, mostly women, ageing from eight to nearly 80 and of varying background and varying levels of purling prowess.
The Purls meet every Wednesday from 10.30am to 1.30pm at The Invention Room Cafe, Imperial College, 68 Wood Lane, White City, W12 7TA. The sessions are friendly, relaxed and welcoming.
“Anyone can join, we support each other with learning knit and crochet or correcting knitted and crocheted items and understanding more difficult patterns,” said Bridget.
The group will be supporting three local organisations with its donations: The London Network Church, Barons Court Homeless Project and The Upper Room W12. They plan to have a celebration event to handover their work at a date yet to be decided.
If you’d like to meet new people, get creative and help homeless people too, come along to a session, or call 07862 294 794 for more information.
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