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.

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