New meeting place needed for nattering knitters

woman holding bags of sweets and knitted hats

Exmouth Knit and Chat social group have been unable to meet face to face due to the pandemic - Credit: Exmouth Knit and Chat

Plenty of knitting has been done by Exmouth’s Knit and Chat group this year – but sadly, no chatting.

Since the start of the Covid pandemic, the group have not been meeting in person, but have continued knitting in their own homes, making items for charities, hospitals and care homes, using wool donated by the public.

Throughout the year they have been knitting hats, scarves and gloves for the Moldova Christmas appeal, in which shoeboxes filled with practical gifts, sweets and other treats are delivered to Moldovan people in need by Exmouth’s branch of Christian Response to Eastern Europe.

They have also made knitted items for Age Concern, children’s charities, homeless people and premature babies at Exeter’s RD&E Hospital.

Some of their projects have been a bit more unusual. Thanks to Exmouth Knit and Chat, midwives who need to teach mothers to express milk have been provided with knitted breasts, so that they can demonstrate the technique without touching the women.

The group have also knitted ‘twizzle muffs’ with beads or pompoms inside for people with dementia in care homes, many of whom find it therapeutic to have something for their fingers to play with.

However, the group are missing the chance to chat as well as knit, which has not been possible since the start of the Covid pandemic. Although the restrictions on social gatherings are now lifted, the room they used to use, which was provided by Exmouth Town Council, is not currently available, and the group leader Sandra Witts is keen to find a temporary replacement.

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She said: “It’s a social thing for older people who are really isolated and need to get out, and for the last two years they haven't been able to do that. Some people only come to my group, they don’t do anything else.

“There are new members wanting to come along as well, and they can’t because we’re not meeting as a group. It’s very frustrating.”

The group need a spacious room to meet in, as there are around 25 members, and it would need to have a kitchen. Anyone who may be able to offer suitable premises can email howarddevon@hotmail.com

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