Glasgow knitting group hits 50,000 items milestone

Volunteers from left: Anne MacKenzie, Rita MacKechnie, Helen Mitchell, Sheila Cope, Jean McIntyre, Carole Bell, Anne McDonald, Mary Smith
Volunteers from left: Anne MacKenzie, Rita MacKechnie, Helen Mitchell, Sheila Cope, Jean McIntyre, Carole Bell, Anne McDonald, Mary Smith

Since 2010, a group of volunteers from around Glasgow have been crafting and donating hand knitted booties, blankets and hats for new born babies in maternity wards at University Hospital Crosshouse in Kilmarnock and Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow.

This month they have reached the incredible milestone of donating 50,000 knitted items.

A core group of ten women, one of whom is over 90 years old, make up the RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Programme) Glasgow Knitting Group. Supported by national charity Volunteering Matters thanks to funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, and led by Volunteer Organiser Rita Mackechnie from Glasgow, the group meet up four times a year to exchange wool and donate their knitted items to good causes.

Rita Mackechnie, volunteer organiser, said: “I was thrown in at the deep end when I took on the responsibility of co-ordinating the donations back in 2010 and eight years later I’m still swimming!

“It is really beneficial to be able to do something that is useful and appreciated by hospitals that we support. Being part of RSVP enables you to use your skills, makes you feel valued and it also helps with social inclusion. Over the years our group has got to know each other and when we meet up to donate our knitting it also becomes a social occasion, over a cup of tea at the Virgin Bank, Queen Street, Glasgow, who kindly let us use their facilities. We’ve received a lot of support from the local community over the years in donations of wool and money for materials and we’d love to hear from anyone who would like to make a donation or perhaps even join the group.”

John Ross Brown, regional manager at volunteering matters Scotland, said: “The Glasgow Knitting Group is incredible. They donate literally thousands of knitted items to good causes each and every year and are a great example of how volunteers are using their time and talents to help their communities. Much of our work with and for older people at Volunteering Matters is made possible thanks to support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery and the skills of local people.

“Over 8,600 volunteers over 50 from across the UK are involved in a variety of projects from walking groups to reading in schools, all of which are designed to combat loneliness, share talents or tackle some of the toughest challenges facing our communities.”

If you would like to find out more about the Retired and Senior Volunteer Project or the Glasgow Knitting Group, contact John Brown on 07823 413 259.