It’s that time of year again where we’re readying the 2019 version of the Out and About Guide for publication. As part of that process we sometimes head out in to the community to talk to the groups and also get those ever-valuable images to populate the guide.
To that end, I spent a lovely Friday morning meeting up with the Knit and Natter group at Mrs Howard Hall. It’s a place where, as the name suggests, people can come along, meet up with friends, make new ones and also get crafty with some knitting at the same time.
The group is the brainchild of Letchworth resident, Elvina, and now has a core following of around 20-30. Elvina is blind and attended specialist college courses in Hitchin for the blind and enjoyed the atmosphere so much she decided to set-up a group of her own.
Five years ago Elvina, with support from her friends and family, started the Knit and Natter group at the Brotherhood Hall. The location has now changed, but the warm and welcoming group environment is very much the same. There’s also a great cause being support by all the knitting that goes on!
Elvina had a devoted guide dog, Keira, and knows how important guide dogs are to helping blind people lead independent lives. It’s not cheap to train a guide dog however. It costs around £35,000 to train and support a guide dog through its lifetime. So, to help the Guide Dogs charity to keep training dogs, the knitted items made by the group are sold at three events spread over the year. Every year the group raises around £1,000!
Back to the group itself, it’s a chirpy and inclusive environment. You pay a couple of pounds for a hot drink, all of which goes to pay for the hiring of Mrs Howard Hall (who by all accounts are wonderfully supportive of the group and cater to their needs!).
Everybody is welcome, current members come from Letchworth and surrounding towns. You don’t have to be able to knit (the group does crochet and other needle forms of needlework too), you can just come for a chat, indeed there’s more nattering that goes on than knitting and that’s just how it’s supposed to be.
The Knit and Natter Group meets twice a week. Tuesdays from 9:30 at the Morrison’s Café and Friday’s from 9:30 at Mrs Howard Hall.