More than 200 pieces of clothing made in East Northants to help around the world

Members of the Knit and Natter group at Spire Homes' Crispian Court in Rushden

Members of the Knit and Natter group at Spire Homes' Crispian Court in Rushden

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A group of 25 fledgling Knit and Natterers have donated more than 200 hand-made pieces of clothing to help others around the world.

Members of the groups in East Northants have been learning how to knit and sew since Christmas for the Dresses Around The World charity which sends home-made clothing to disadvantaged children across the globe.

This short set was made by the Brigstock centre

This short set was made by the Brigstock centre

Maria Meyerhoff, scheme assistant at Spire Homes, helped to get the Knit and Natter groups off the ground at various Spire Homes schemes.

She said: “I found out about Dresses Around The World a few years ago at a previous job and after some of the ladies at Crispian Court decided to take up knitting around Christmas, I knew we could put their newly discovered craft skills to good use.

“Since then I’ve been working with residents at some of our schemes across East Northamptonshire – Cordwainers and Crispian Court in Rushden, Stronglands Court in Oundle, Harpers Court in Brigstock and The Shrubberies in Woodford - to help them create the outfits the charity needs.

“Some residents have been kind enough to donate material even if they haven’t wanted to knit or sew themselves.

Irene Alford's work has helped children in Ethiopia

Irene Alford's work has helped children in Ethiopia

“We’ve had a huge amount of support at all the schemes where we have Knit and Natter groups as well as Farrar Court in Irthlingborough and staff, their family and friends from Spire Homes.

“They’ve all been fantastic supporters and we can’t say thank you enough.

“One lady even gave us three bags of wool in one go.

“We hadn’t set out with a specific target in mind; we’ve kept it as an informal weekly session for people who enjoy it.

Irene Alford's work has helped children in Uganda

Irene Alford's work has helped children in Uganda

“I’ve been really impressed with the dedication everyone’s shown and how quickly we’ve reached 150 items.

“I’d also like to say a massive thank you to Ma’s Buttons & Haberdashery in Rushden who donated wool, ribbons and buttons to our Knit and Natter group.”

Irene Alford, who goes to Whitefriars Church in Rushden, helps to organise donations that go to Dresses Around The World at the Phoenix Centre charity in Wellingborough and via different Christian organisations around the world. She started the project four years ago after finding out about Dresses Around The World through missionaries who visited her church.

After making a few dresses herself, she’s been running workshops and done countless talks about the charity and it’s work to provide good clothing to disadvantaged areas.

She said: “The items we receive really do go all over the world.

“I split what we receive between Dresses Around The World and missionaries from across our diocese who receive the packages in Uganda and Ethiopia, to Syria and Tanzania.”
Irene added: “Knit and Natter groups like these are vital to us continuing our work.

“I think the groups at Crispian Court, Cordwainers, The Shrubberies, Stronglands and Harpers Court have done brilliantly to have created so many items given that many of them only just discovered (or re-discovered) the knack of knitting and sewing a few months ago.”

Among the items donated by the group are 33 blankets, 12 mittens, seven bootees, 43 dresses, 65 hats, seven scarves, four bags and nine pairs of pants.