Beanies for those who need them most this winter

Beanies for those who need them most this winter

No one chooses to sleep rough.

When we think about keeping warm throughout winter, the things which come to mind might be heating or a warm bed. For many in our communities, it could be as simple as a warm beanie.

Last winter, Uniting’s Susan Cann and Brian Woodhouse from the Sydney Central Region of Mission, Communities and Social Impact, started a program called Hats for Homeless, which provides warm beanies for those who need warmth over winter the most.

Recipients of the beanies

Beanies are donated to those who find themselves in challenging life situations and go a long way in keeping people warm throughout the winter period.

Since June 2019, over 1200 beanies have been distributed across NSW to churches and services supporting vulnerable communities including:

  • Wayside Chapel
  • Newtown Neighbourhood Centre
  • St. Stephen’s Early Bird Café
  • Illawarra and Liverpool Street Kitchens
  • Rough Edges Darlinghurst
  • Uniting’s Medically Supervised Injecting Centre and
  • many Uniting Church congregations across NSW who run outreach services to their communities.

Knitathons make it fun and easy

Knitathons have been held in Uniting Church halls, UCA Synod and Residential Aged Care Homes; Uniting volunteers and employees have gotten involved. The number of hands involved in this project has been nothing less of inspiring.

Recently Uniting has partnered with Uniting Church school, MLC School where student volunteers are supporting the cause – and loving the experience.

Gail Yap, Uniting Volunteer Lead said, “We’re thrilled to be working so closely with MLC School in Burwood. Our values and vision are so well aligned, the opportunities are endless. I’ve been blown away with the maturity and compassion of the girls. These are our future community leaders and I am privileged to have the opportunity to work alongside them.”

Uniting and MLC School partnership

A large part of MLC School’s philosophy as a Uniting Church school is their commitment to active service and learning. Service can mean a lot of things. At MLC School, girls are encouraged to look beyond the concept of just giving money and to explore ways they can participate in their local communities to positively impact lives.

Reverend Viniana Ravetali, MLC School shares, “Service is a huge part of life for every MLC School girl. ‘Service’, in the giving of the self and as a school, we are intentionally seeking ways to strategically partner with Uniting to provide service opportunities to our girls, and Hats for Homeless is just one example of how this works in reality.”

Can’t knit? No problem!

The beanies are made using a loom template which means no knitting needles or experience required. There is an easy to follow instruction video which makes this a great activity to do whilst many of us are self-isolating.

“Joining the Hats for Homeless program has been one of the best decisions I’ve made this year!” – Emma Juffermans, Year 12 student at MLC School

“The process of making the beanies is brilliant. Using a loom, it is simple, relaxing and produces great results, allowing people who might not usually enjoy craft to delight in producing successful beanies which they can give back to the community.” – Amelie Roediger, Year 12 student and MLC School Captain

Get knitting and get involved

If you would like to get involved by making beanies or even by making a wool donation, you can contact Natasha Holmes naholmes@Uniting.org or Uniting Volunteering Volunteering@Uniting.org.

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