In 2015 Lemon & Ginger, a crafty collective started meeting at the Pavilion at the Park in Bedford Park every Monday morning at 10am. The brainchild of Laura Holmes (Holmes Sweet Holmes) and Emma Garrett (Pavilion at the Park), the idea was that people could just turn up to knit, crochet or sew in the stunning surrounds of The Pavilion, with good company, good food and good coffee to inspire them.
The group is free to attend and provides a marvellous opportunity for people of all ages to socialise while getting crafty together and doing something positive for local charities at the same time. Nikkei Reeve who has been with the group for over a year said “I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting some lovely new people at Lemon and Ginger – we automatically have something in common through our knitting and we have a good laugh!”. Hannah Johnson added “When Lemon and Ginger started, my little boy was around a year old. I’d been struggling to find groups to go to where I was included. I found that my boy and I were welcomed with open arms and I found a group of like-minded friends who have taken Jaxon and I under their wings”.
While individuals can always work on their own projects, the group’s first collaborative work back in 2015 was to knit hats for Innocent Smoothie bottles as part of their Big Knit campaign, raising money for Age UK. If you haven’t come across this before, knitters of all ages get involved to knit tiny hats for the top of Innocent smoothie bottles. For every behatted bottle sold, 25p goes straight to Age UK and the crafty knitters at The Pavilion managed a total of 207 hats in 2015. As the group has grown, so has their output and they have just handed over their second batch of hats and managed to knit a whopping 650 altogether! These included octupi, hedgehogs, frogs, cat in the hat striped top hats and many other colourful creations – which will appear on an innocent smoothie bottle near you from October 2017!
Jo Rising, Facilities and Services Support Manager for Age UK Bedfordshire visited The Pavilion to receive the donation of hats from Emma, Laura and the Lemon and Ginger group: “By getting involved with Age UK and Innocent’s Big Knit Campaign, Lemon and Ginger have really made a difference to help support older people – crucial with an aging population increasing so significantly year on year.”
With over a decade of support from knitters up and down the country, The Big Knit has raised vital funds to support local and national winter projects to help older people keep warm and well in winter through befriending visits, emergency cold weather support, warm meals and other vital services.
Douglas Lamont CEO of Innocent Smoothies said: “The Big Knit is a great way to bring people and communities together. Knitting groups have been held up and down the country for people to get involved, share patterns and have a cup of tea or two! The Big Knit campaign couldn’t happen without the support of thousands of amazing people across the UK who take part and knit woolly hats to adorn innocent smoothies each year.”
Emma Garrett said “Although each of our little hats is tiny, collectively they really do make a difference”. Laura Holmes added “I am incredibly proud of the group – I set a new target of 500 hats this time round and they smashed it! If any readers are up for a challenge, the group meets every Monday morning at The Pavilion in Bedford Park from 10am – 12pm and welcomes newcomers!” Chris read about the group in the Bedfordshire on Sunday two years ago and has been knitting with them ever since “Having been stuck in the house with a broken foot, Lemon & Ginger got me out and about again, and I haven’t looked back since.”
For more information about the group contact Emma Garrett (The Pavilion) on 01234 351104 or Laura Holmes (Lemon & Ginger) on 07766 344375.