A knitting group of Kommetjie residents – Elma Edwards, Jill Dix and Charlotte Kilpatrick – have put their skills to good use by donating their creations to several organisations that work with children and, most recently, by supporting a Wynberg Children’s Protection Court initiative.
Elma and Charlotte began knitting more than eight years ago. They started with blanket squares and beanies, then progressed to teddy bears, and today they knit bunnies.
“We thought it would be a good idea to get the elderly people together to chat but instead of just chatting, we started knitting the blanket squares,” explains Charlotte.
These knitted items have been donated to various causes, including Living Hope, Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital and a safe house in Ocean View.
Their most recent beneficiary is the court where one of the magistrates has begun to offer the children, who are victims of abuse or neglect, a toy to take home.
“We’re very happy that it goes to a good cause because the children need it for comfort and love and so that they have something of their own to go away with after a sad day in court,” says Charlotte.
Elma, as one of the longstanding members of the group, has had many years of practice making the toys.
She says it takes about a day to complete one new teddy, affording her plenty of time to make enough to try and fulfil the needs of the court which sees numerous children entering daily.
Despite struggling to find donors, the group continues to produce their teddies with wool that they’ve bought at their own expense and making use of old blankets and cushion inners, off-cuts and extra bits of wool and ribbon, laces, and old socks.
“The whole purpose of this is to try spread the word of this magistrate‘s initiative,” says Jill.
They hope other courts in Mitchell’s Plain, Retreat and any other place where children experience trauma will take note and start something similar.
Karen Kilpatrick, Charlotte’s daughter, says: “It’s just helping someone else who is already giving help others, and becoming part of a network of people who want to help.” The trio would like to continue their work and could use donations.
A donation box has been set up at The Surf Emporium at Surfer’s Corner in Muizenberg where you can drop off toys for young girls and boys who need comfort; and wool, stuffing, ribbons and laces for Kommetjie’s knitting trio.