Join us if you enjoy a good yarn

March 03 2014

ACTIVITIES for older people in Downend are continuing to increase - and are all linked by a common thread.

downend connect knitters

ACTIVITIES for older people in Downend are continuing to increase - and are all linked by a common thread.

Computer classes, a knitting group and now a reading group have been launched in the last few months as part of the Downend Connect initiative.

Some of the older people who joined the six-week Computers for Beginners sessions at Downend Library have gone on to take part in classes also at the library but run by South Gloucestershire and Stroud College.

Meanwhile, the weekly Monday morning knitting group has 18 members, who between them have made an impressive 137 wool tops for children in Africa.

These are due to be sent out soon to the Fish and Chip Babies – so called because when they are born they are wrapped in newspaper because their poverty-stricken families have no clothes for them.

The Knit and Natter group has also been knitting woolly hats to help street sleepers in Bristol to keep warm.

Now they are planning to knit teddy bears for children in Third World countries who are in hospital.

Martyn Poole, of Downend and Bromley Heath Parish Council, said: “It is thought by having something close to them it aids recovery. Each teddy bear is the same design so that each child has the same.”

The group would appreciate any donations of yarn – double knit acrylic is preferred. It can be dropped in to the library any time during opening hours.

The reading group is due to start on Thursday March 13 with a session from 2-3.30pm led by poet and writer Rachel Bentham. Weekly sessions will take place until April 10 and then from April 24- May 22.

You don't have to read anything in advance, Rachael, a bibliotherapist, will guide the group through the discussion each week of a different short piece, which might be a poem, short story or novel extract.

The idea is to provide a relaxed and friendly environment where people can get out of the house and meet others who enjoy stories and poetry. It's a chance to share favourite authors, discover new wsriters, and make friends.

Downend Connect is an initiative launched by the parish council and South Gloucestershire Council and backed by Downend Voice. It aims to reduce isolation among older people and provide activities that meet the needs of retired residents.