Knit­ters need more wool as win­ter hangs on

Hamilton News - - NEWS - Louela Rosal Pe­garido Win­tec jour­nal­ism stu­dent

Fam­i­lies which can’t af­ford heat­ing and the home­less were so touched when the Sal­va­tion Army’s team of knit­ters made hot water bot­tle cov­ers for them, they cried.

Even though it is now of­fi­cially spring, the vol­un­teer knit­ters and sew­ers need more wool and fab­ric to keep mak­ing wool­lies for Hamil­ton res­i­dents who have to hud­dle to­gether at night for warmth.

Sal­va­tion Army Mid­land re­gion spokes­woman Kay Worth said it was cru­cial they con­tin­ued mak­ing as many warm items as pos­si­ble be­cause thou­sands of res­i­dents re­mained with­out heat­ing.

In a Sal­va­tion Army com­mis­sioned sur­vey of 1000 Ki­wis, al­most half said they had no heat­ing at home while 10 per cent said they used an oven or stove to heat their houses last win­ter.

It found the num­ber of New Zealand house­holds where res­i­dents were hav­ing dif­fi­culty keep­ing warm had in­creased from three out of ev­ery 10 homes in 2015 to al­most half.

A Sal­va­tion Army man­ager, Jono Bell, said con­ven­tional heat­ing was of­ten the first ba­sic need to go when money was tight.

“Fam­i­lies will of­ten sleep to­gether in the lounge to share heat, leav­ing the oven door open,” he said.

The Warm Up Win­ter ap­peal where Sal­va­tion Army vol­un­teers knit and sew hot water bot­tle cov­ers, scarves, gloves and bean­ies to warm peo­ple in the cold months, was an an­swer to this need.

The group re­ceived more than 1000 new hot water bot­tles and the teams of knit­ters and sew­ers had been busy mak­ing cov­ers.

“The hot water bot­tles are a huge hit. The ac­counts of chil­dren go­ing straight to sleep with warm feet are lovely,” Worth said.

On av­er­age, scarves, bean­ies and other items can be made in three hours, but the balls of wool are dis­ap­pear­ing fast.

“Our aim is to have items that cater to ev­ery­one’s needs. They are nei­ther age or gen­der­spe­cific, just give our peo­ple in need warmth.”

■ To do­nate wool or fab­ric con­tact Kay Worth at the Sal­va­tion Army; phone 07-8392282, or email kay_ worth@nzf.sal­va­tion­

Photo / Louela Rosal Pe­garido

Some of the items made by the vol­un­teer knit­ters to help those in need stay warm.

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