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Stitching club encourages people to help the vulnerable while learning a new skill

PUBLISHED: 15:24 11 January 2018 | UPDATED: 15:27 11 January 2018

The new Dereham Sewing Club will be making clothes for charity. Picture: Ian Burt

The new Dereham Sewing Club will be making clothes for charity. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2018

Budding sewers and knitters have come together to help the vulnerable and improve their skills as members of a new stitching group in Dereham.

Dereham Sewing Club members. Picture: Ian Burt Dereham Sewing Club members. Picture: Ian Burt

The first meeting of the Dereham Stitchers group took place on Thursday and saw the members putting their sewing skills on display using machines and fabric donated by Norfolk Knitters and Stitchers.

The group is open to anyone who wishes to join and many of the members will be making items that will be donated to charities, homeless people, refugees and disaster areas.

Organiser Caroline Crisp, said: “I used to run a group in Sheringham, which was popular and part of the Norfolk Knitters and Stitchers group.

“When I moved to Dereham I looked into whether or not there was a need for a group and discovered that there seems to be a huge demand. I’ve had almost 100 responses on Facebook from people who want to learn to sew and gain some new skills.”

The new Dereham Sewing Club will be making clothes for charity. Pictured are Caroline Crisp and Harmony Bush (11). Picture: Ian Burt The new Dereham Sewing Club will be making clothes for charity. Pictured are Caroline Crisp and Harmony Bush (11). Picture: Ian Burt

While members can sew items for themselves or their family, the group puts a big emphasis on donating items to vulnerable people around the world. Ms Crisp says that this is part of the group’s philosophy, which earned it the support of the Big Lottery Fund.

“Norfolk Knitters and Stitchers groups knit for a range of causes, such as international aid. They send a tonne of stuff to refugees, including Syrian refugees and a lot is also donated to the Salvation Army.

“In Sheringham we were making bits for school uniforms in Africa because in many places the children cannot go to school unless they have the full uniform.

“With this new group we haven’t partnered with any charities yet but that is one of our missions going forward, to find charities who are appreciative and need our help. We are also taking donations of sewing machines and fabric if people would like to support us. That way we can ensure that sewing at the new group doesn’t cost anyone anything but their time.”

Dereham Sewing Club member Caroline Crisp. Picture: Ian Burt Dereham Sewing Club member Caroline Crisp. Picture: Ian Burt

Currently there are more than 130 groups across the county with nearly 3,000 members.

The Dereham group will meet every Thursday morning between 10am and 12pm at Yaxham Village Hall in Dereham. It is open to everyone and there is a small charge to cover the costs of the hall and the refreshments.

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