Showing some heart - #KindnessMatters in Salford

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The last couple of weeks have been a real eye-opener into the world of knitting and crochet!

Several weeks ago we were contacted by Michelle a representative from the Spirit of Salford Network, she was looking for people to make pairs of small palm-size hearts to be used in hospitals and care homes and by the bereavement team. One heart stays with the person in the hospital and the other goes to their family providing a connection when times are tough and we are apart.

Amongst the many and varied groups that are members of Salford CVS, there are several avid wielders of the yarn. In particular, a group called Twiddle Club, who until recently have made knitted muffs with buttons and other feely bits on them for people with dementia and who find them calming twiddle with. The group is run by Dorothy a person whose smile you can almost feel before you see her. Dorothy called around and rather quickly a small group of Twiddle Clubbers had agreed to produce hearts.

'Job done', you’d think… but not in Salford, those keep in touch calls that our groups have been making between their members are better at spreading the word than the BBC! Three weeks later and would-be knitters are still contacting us to find out how they have a go. When I’m speaking to people they are universally happy to be able to give something, however small, back to people at a time when comfort is in short supply.

Knitters, as I’m sure many of you know, are quite a dedicated group, they speak a complex language of abbreviations SK2P, SL1K, CO, needle sizes and stocking stitches. Needless to say for the knitting impaired amongst us (myself included) this is been a steep learning curve. However, I can quite confidently say size 4 needles should do and stocking stitch is fine! 

I still feel really lucky that part of my job is getting to talk to people who are active and positive and make the most of every opportunity that comes their way.

If you’re reading this and thinking, you know I think I could knit a heart, or in the case of one of our sewing groups (Rags N Bags - you can watch a video featuring their hearts here), sew a heart. I’ve been assured by Michelle that they can’t have too many.

Although we, unfortunately, cannot provide the materials for everybody in Salford who wants to knit, sew or crochet hearts, we can provide patterns, wool colours, sizes and packing instructions. In the case of people who are shielding and unable to leave their property we can probably organise picking up your hearts and delivering them to the people that need them.

My colleague Ashley has been my partner in crime in helping to put this together and is responsible for sorting out deliveries and ensuring hearts are picked up, she has also been very adept at finding even more people who want to knit them.

It feels really appropriate to me that in Salford where our volunteering ceremony is called the Heart of Salford and the symbol for the Spirit of Salford is a heart, our brilliant volunteers and groups are creating little hearts of solace. 

So from Ashley and I, thank you, your kindness really matters!

Salford CVS
Author: 
Beatty Osborne, Volunteering Development Worker

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Salford CVS & Volunteer Centre
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5 Irwell Place 
Salford, M30 0FN

Tel: 0161 787 7795 
Email: office@salfordcvs.co.uk

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Salford CVS is the city-wide infrastructure organisation for the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector; providing specialist information, advice, development support and opportunities for influence and collaboration.

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