Norfolk Knitters and Stitchers has grown rapidly since the first few knitters put together a blanket in 2008. By March 2009 we had forty people knitting for us, in November 2010, we had 400 and now there are 2278 knitters.
We started with just one group meeting once a month. There are now 136 across the county and many other groups who now both knit, crochet and sew for us. Groups are provided with patterns, needles, wool, fabric and information about the charities we support. These groups are open to anyone who is interested and are a lot of fun with people sharing patterns, admiring work and having a chat! Find your nearest group in the Local Groups section.
Many of our members knit crochet or stitch on their own at home and we have twenty collection points in addition to the groups where members can take their knitting and sewing. For the housebound with no one who can take their work for them we are usually able to arrange for it to be collected. We keep in touch with all our members with a twice yearly newsletter which has information about all the latest projects and events. See the section on collection points for the details.
We work under the auspices of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Programme (RSVP) which is part of Volunteering Matters and they have provided support in applying for grants and in managing the accounts. In recent years Norfolk Community Foundation as well as the Big Lottery Fund have supported Norfolk Knitters and Stitchers with grants which has enabled us to rent the Wool Loft in Norwich, set up Resource Centres in North Norfolk in Sheringham, South Norfolk in Diss, West Norfolk in King's Lynn and Great Yarmouth and to print and distribute our newsletter.
We have many projects we knit, crochet and stitch for - we are happy to knit, crochet and/or stitch for any bona fide charity. There are baby clothes for the premature baby unit at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, hedgehogs sold in aid of the hedgehog rescue appeal, Children's Hospice, teddies for Uganda, baby clothes for a hospital in Gimbi, Ethiopia, hats, gloves, scarves and toys for the Samaritan's Purse Shoebox appeal, sensory muffs and blankets for dementia patients and Care Homes, blankets and hats for the homeless - and so on. For more details see the section on Charities we support.
We have lots of patterns we distribute to members - see the patterns section - but members can knit, crochet or stitch just about anything they want.
We have an Action Group which runs Norfolk Knitters. Members provide support where needed to the Knit and Natters, they collect knitting, crocheting and sewing, they give talks to interested groups such as WI groups or ladies circles and help to organise our Resource Centres Open Days and Summer and Winter Events.
Norfolk Knitters and Stitchers has expanded so much because so many people help doing different things. Members come forward and volunteer to run groups, or help with the distribution of newsletters, or bring knitting in for a friend or local contact or suggest another charity we can support. Any ideas and suggestions are welcome.