Made with love: cuddly bears, bunnies and even ducks are just some of the member creations donated to people in need. Photo: SUPPLIED

Crafting for a community cause

May 16, 2021 BY

MEMBERS of the Bendigo Needles and Threads Program have been serving the community, one stitch at a time, for some 20 years.

The not-for-profit organisation unites talented knitters, crocheters and sewers who gather fortnightly to craft different items for people in need, and chairperson Karen Toner said the meetings are a place where members can share their tricks.

“We meet every second Monday to share our talents and knowledge with one another for the benefit of the community, providing quality handmade items of clothing, toys and rugs for a variety of community groups,” she said.

“It’s important to meet because every member has a talent, they’ve all got something special to give and if they can give it out to the group and you know that you’re going to give the items to a cause that is needy and wanting it, it really makes you feel good.

“It makes you feel that you’re giving back to the community and I like that.”

An average 35 people attend the morning meetups at St Mary’s Anglican Church in Kangaroo Flat, donating their handmade goods to 11 different organisations.

Manager of the group’s Facebook page Sherran Crowe joined the program a few years ago during her early retirement and said she was happy to find a new purpose for her talents after her family outgrew a need for her creations.

“I found out about Needles and Threads and I thought ‘well that’s right up my alley’ because I just love to knit and crochet and you get to a point where your kids or your family don’t need anything,” she said.

“It may not mean much to us, you make a little jumper and it’s just another jumper, or a little toy you know they’re just going to adore. It’s that feeling of knowing someone else is probably going to enjoy it more than you did.

“Knitted garments take a little bit longer, but more love goes into them I think.”

The program has recently welcomed younger people to their meetings and Ms Toner said it’s important to continue the initiative to make sure the sewing, knitting and crochet crafts often learnt from parents or grandparents are passed on to the next generation.

“You would think it’s a dying type of art but there is a young element that’s coming in now and we’ve been noticing younger people have been coming in and they have got great talents as well,” she said.

“That’s what I want to keep it going for, to keep on including the younger people and getting them to come in because it’s great, it keeps your mind busy.”

As the cold season approaches the group is preparing to make items like scarves and beanies and anyone interested in joining the program can visit their Facebook page.