Meet the ladies hoping to attract others to Stapleford with a ‘knit and natter’

todayFebruary 23, 2022

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The organiser of a Stapleford Yarn Bombing class has spoken out about they hope their designs are bringing the community together and attracting more people to the area.

Yarn bombing is a type of street art that is colourful and vibrant with designs made from knitted or crocheted wool.

Labour councillor Sue Paterson (Stapleford South West Ward), Teresa Needham (Stapleford town councillor) and Heather Bessant (a member of the Helpful Bureau in Stapleford) are the main organisers of the Yarn Bombing classes, which count members aged from eight to 80 among their ranks.

The people attending the classes also receive help from Steph Reston and Lucy Bates Frettingham.

Councillor Paterson described how the classes came about.

“Our high street is really struggling at the moment,” she said.

“Getting more people involved was something that I couldn’t do on my own, I spoke with Heather and she thought it was a great idea.

“I got the idea to set up a class but Covid meant everything got delayed.”

The most recent project the yarn bombers have done was for Valentine's Day [Photo by: Sue Patterson]
The most recent project the yarn bombers have done was for Valentine’s Day [Photo by: Sue Patterson]

Their first project was a crocheted post box topper.

Then they helped decorate the walk-in centre along and received lots of positive feedback.

“We then kept being asked about crochet classes and received some funding from the Welcome Back Fund so I thought we’d start it up,” said Sue.

Even then she was not sure how many people would sign up.

“We thought it would be about 10 people but around 100 people signed up,” she said.

“What was suppose to be one class turned to three and then we started to think of a big project for the ladies to work on.

“I would say what we’re doing is important, it’s brought people back together.

“The Valentine’s display was lovely, we got loads of comments and we have more plans for the Queen’s Jubilee. We want to bring people to Stapleford and bring the locals joy, Stapleford tends to get recognised for negative press.

“We all do a lot of background work because the classes are so big, we’ve had to get a project to show people what to do, it can’t be one-to-one and 2 hrs isn’t a long enough time so we upload videos showing people what to do on a private YouTube account and I do lesson plans, weekly.”

The Yarn Bombing group is mostly women with the youngest being eight and the oldest 80. There is a waiting list for new joiners but the group plan to recruit more members.

Sue continued and said: “People enjoying going, one person in the group cares for their mother so the classes are respite for her and it’s just a knit and natter for a lot of people but they make friends and enjoy themselves.”

The most recent project the yarn bombers have done was for Valentine's Day [Photo by: Sue Patterson]
The most recent project the yarn bombers have done was for Valentine’s Day [Photo by: Sue Patterson]

Local photographer Chris Davies is one of many who has praised the work of the yarn bombers.

“The Stapleford yarn bombers bring a lot to the high street and residents,” he said.

“The fantastic yarn creations themselves bring a smile to peoples faces, but the act of being creative is also a great way to improve mental health.

“These creative community groups should be encouraged and funded as it brings people together and allows head space and time to calm the minds from the high pace of society. For me, photography is my creative outlet and seeing these works of yarn art give me motivation and inspiration to create my own works.”

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Written by: thehitnetwork

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