This is a guest post by Shahnaz and Karen.
Who are we?
We are Shahnaz and Karen and we run an initiative called Knit Aid, which so far has facilitated the collection and distribution of hundreds of hand knitted items to refugee camps across Europe and the Middle East. We also run knitting workshops in the UK teaching people to knit much-needed warm donations, and these are a great success in bringing people together for a good cause.
While making, collecting and sending knitted donations has been successful and the warm clothing/blankets are needed, we feel that we can take the benefits of knitting further than just fulfilling immediate needs.
During a recent visit to the Jungle in Calais and after talking to volunteers who work regularly with refugees across Europe, we’ve been made aware of the isolated situation that many resettled refugees find themselves in when they finally reach the UK. We feel that we may be of use here, in bringing free workshops to them to help with socialising and integration in their new communities, as well as the incredibly therapeutic benefits of a craft like knitting.
What are we looking for?
We are looking for contacts for local organisations or individuals who are already offering outreach and support to resettled refugees, to run free workshops (including all materials) or knitting ‘buddies’ to help with socialising and integration in their new communities.
Do you know of any local community groups who are already working in this area who we could get in touch with? Preferably in London as this is where we are based.
We are keen to work with people or organisations who are already offering outreach and support to people, as we would rather work with experts as part of an existing offer than to try and set up something new.
Knit Aid is run by 2 volunteers who work in/with the charity sector, so we know the importance of tapping into existing knowledge and being helpful to an ongoing process of support.
Any information you can provide would be greatly appreciated.
Please email us at email@example.com
You can see more of our work on our website: www.knitaid.org and our social channels: www.facebook.com/knitaid | Instagram: @knitaid
Shahnaz and Karen
Co-Directors of Knit Aid