Members of the Big Knit at Heathlands Village

On Monday (10.8.2015) members of “The Big Knit”, a local knitting circle, went full circle as they paid a special visit to The Fed’s headquarters and care home at Heathlands Village to tell residents about their group and show off their handiwork.

Six years ago weæsaid farewell to retiring Volunteer Manager, Ros Carlick, who had worked with us atæThe Fedæforæabout 20 years. But Ros was not one to put her feet up.

Always a doer and innovator she decided to set up a new project, interweaving two of her life’s passions – knitting and helping people – by creating The Big Knit. This group of ladies knit and crochet well over a thousand items a year for a wide range of charities and organisations, both local to Manchester and abroad.Ros’s sister, Nadia Cohen, recalls how Ros came to her and another sister, Sonia Clynes, and told them:

“I’m setting up a knitting circle and you’re coming! We knew we had to doæas we were told!”

Sadly, only 2 years after setting up the group Ros developed ovarian cancer and eventually passed away in 2013. At the first meeting after shiva (the week of mourning) Nadia put herself forward as chairperson in Ros’s place. “It was just the obvious thing for me to do. I wanted to make sure the group kept going. I wanted to do it for Ros.”

Ladies from the Big Knit show off their lovely handiwork to residents in the Activity Centre

The group now has 15 to 20 core members who meet once a week on a Wednesday from 10 am to noon, at the Maccabi Club House in north Manchester. Another 10 members knit from home. In addition a group of residents of Gan Eden sheltered housing flats in Salford, calling themselves “The Little Knit”, meet once a week on a Wednesday afternoon and contribute regularly to supplies

“It’s a lovely way for people to come together,” Nadia explained.

“It’s very sociable and relaxing and we’re all working to a common purpose – to help people.

I particularly love the fact that it brings together women from every part of the community, right across the religious spectrum, who might not otherwise have met up.

We knit for all sorts of organisations. We make knee blankets, larger blankets, shawls and bed-socks for the residents of Heathlands Village and for Age UK and The Christie.

Recently we were asked by Heathlands to start making “twiddle-muff” comforters for people with dementia. We so buttons and ribbons and other items on to the muffs so that as well as keeping their hands warm they provide tactile and mental stimulation.

In addition we, make hats for Israeli soldiers and baby clothes and other items for people in Belarus. Basically we make whatever people need.

But we could do with more people joining us – it’s hard to keep up with demand. And we need regular donations of wool as well.

Ros would have loved today’s event. Much of her work at The Fed involved looking after older people. To see how The Big Knit is still helping The Fed to look after older people would have made her very proud.”

Anyone interested in joining The Big Knit can contact Nadia on 0161 792 0685 or 077 213 3371.

For more information about any of The Fed’s services call 0161 772 4800 or see Our Services page