Tight knit community
Refugee families in Porirua will be the recipients of 20 blankets made as part of a community knitting project.
Tawa librarian Sharyn Phillips says she was overwhelmed by the response after Tawa, Johnsonville and Khandallah libraries ran a programme encouraging knitting and crocheting, and asking for peggy squares which would be joined together into blankets.
‘‘We had 537 squares and it was beyond my dreams. I had expected three or four blankets, but we ended up with 20. We had kids knitting, we had grandparents teaching the kids to knit. It was a great thing to do.
‘‘We had people coming up to the front counter and if they’d dropped a stitch they’d want me to help them. It just shows that the community really wants to get involved.’’
Mrs Phillips chose to donate the blankets to Refugee Services for families who will be settled in Cannons Creek, as it was a need ‘‘close to home’’.
Refugee Services volunteer supervisor Sonja de Lange, who received the blankets at an event at Tawa library on Thursday, says several families are due to arrive from Colombia and Burma in the coming months. The blankets would help the organisation to furnish houses for them.
‘‘Our families appreciate things like this, coming from a country like Colombia where it is always summer.
‘‘This is amazing for them – just making them feel at home, just having the basics.’’
Refugees arrived with no belongings, she says, and for every family arriving the service has to find everything they would need, from cutlery, to beds, to curtains.
‘‘It’s a huge job, we put everything in that house.’’
Mrs Phillips says while the blanket project was intended to be a one-off, so many people have said they want to continue making the peggy squares that it may continue, though a volunteer is needed to help stitch the squares together.
Twenty squared: Librarian Sharyn Phillips with the 20 blankets made from peggy squares, knitted and crocheted by people taking part in a library project. The blankets will be donated to Porirua refugee families.