It is a wonderful thing when plans, people and prayers come together to create something really special and this is exactly what happened in Dunston in the Sleaford Circuit in the summer of 2021.
The existing churches together knitting group, which knits for charity, received a random email from a knitting group in Milan and with encouragement from Dunston Minister, Rev Gabrielle Britton-Voss, the idea to yarn bomb the village to raise awareness of domestic abuse was born.
The project came at just the right time as people in the church and community needed something to give them purpose during lockdown. One person said it was a lifeline whilst going through cancer treatment. Even though the knitting group couldn’t meet, weekly emails from Beth McLuckie provided ideas and encouragement to keep on knitting. The group grew and people from the community, including the school, were drawn in.
People were given the freedom to knit whatever they wanted with wool provided by the group where needed. When eventually they were able to meet in June and all the items were brought together there was a huge amount of knitting which included animals, fish, bunting and squares! It was a real team effort; as well as the crafters one person had a real eye for how to display everything and another took on the role of PR.
This wasn’t just knitting for the sake of knitting but rather to raise awareness and so District Safeguarding Officer, Howard Smedley, was invited to lead a training session on domestic abuse. He told them that 1 in 4 women, 1 in 6 men and 1 in 4 people in same sex partnerships will be affected at some point in their life. Domestic abuse isn’t just about visible bruises and can often be hidden.
The yarn bombs were in place along the bus route through the village for two months in the summer and alongside the displays people were able to read notices giving information on domestic abuse. Little cards were available to pick up containing details of help lines and charities. The displays brought a lot of joy to people with children stopping to look and touch.
During the yarn bomb a strawberry tea and a family games afternoon were held at the village hall. The yarn bomb items were also auctioned at the end of August. A total of nearly £1,400 was raised for Lincolnshire domestic abuse charity EDAN ( https://edanlincs.org.uk/ ). Dunston Yarn Bomb has since won the North Kesteven District Council Community Champion Award for contribution to community safety.
Beth stressed that Dunston Methodist Church is a very small church – just 12 members in fact, many of whom are no longer able to be involved. By working as churches together in the village and with the community and school they were able to bring this project together. She said that faith was driving this initiative in a loving way.
You can see more photos of the Dunston yarn bombing on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/DunstonYarnBomb/.
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Howard Smedley 07758 239286