Whip out the knitting needles and get crafty!

Age UK Big Knit SUS-141208-142228001
Age UK Big Knit SUS-141208-142228001

Age UK Horsham District is calling on nimble-fingered knitters across the district to whip out their wool and needles and create little woolly hats for the innocent Big Knit and help older people keep warm, safe and well in winter.

Now in its 11th year, The Big Knit returns and budding milliners across the UK are being called upon to get inventive and knit miniature woolly hats to adorn innocent smoothie bottles, which will be sold in stores nationwide from February 2015.

For each be-hatted smoothie sold, innocent will donate 25p to help support older people during winter. Age UK Horsham District is calling on local knitters to get as many hats as possible to them by 30th October and help make this a reality. Last year the people of Horsham District submitted over 1700 hats.

This year the local charity has a target of 4000 which would raise £1000 to support residents of Horsham District.

Janice Leeming, Chief Executive at Age UK Horsham District, said: “Winter can be a really difficult time of year for many older people, so it’s really important that local knitters get behind The Big Knit to help raise funds to support those in later life.

The funds raised help to fund services like Information and Advice that last year unlocked over £1million in unclaimed benefits for people in the district or our Home Visiting service that arranges regular visitors to drop in on those who are isolated.

Both services are completely free and extremely important, especially through winter, but we need willing people to help us fundraise. The Big Knit is one way that people can contribute.’

One such committed knitter is Win Kurn (pictured). Win will be 99 this year in August and is partially sighted, but she doesn’t let this stop her taking part. As she is unable to see the knitting patterns, she learns them and produces the hats purely from memory.

With the help of her daughter Carol, last year she contributed to the 1700 hats submitted by knitters of Horsham District and even continued knitting past the deadline. The pair already have 50 hats ready for this year’s campaign and are thrilled to be able to contribute to looking after others.

Knitters can find information and download free knitting patterns from the charity’s website www.ageukhorshamdistrict.org.uk or contact their community fundraiser on 01403 260 560 or email communityfundraiser@ageukhorshamdistrict.org.uk and they will be happy to send you a pattern.

For those who don’t fancy making a hat themselves but would like to support the charity, they can become a Friend of Age UK Horsham District and setup a small regular donation. Use the details above for more information on this.

For those involved, make sure to post pictures of your knitted creations on their facebook page www.facebook.co/AgeUKHorshamDistrict then drop the hats into their Lavinia House offices which are situated directly behind the Drill Hall on Denne Road by 30th October.

Alternatively you can also drop them at the Cloth Store in the Carfax or Knitters Corner on Bartholomew Way. Both of these shops are getting involved with the campaign this year so contact them for Big Knit sessions taking place.

Report and picture contributed by Age UK Horsham District.