We may have seen the last of the worst winter weather, but the impact of this season's cold snaps on older people is now being counted. To help to raise awareness of the issue - and money for charity - some bloggers have joined the #knitforwinter campaign that is also supported by Sunrise Senior Living.
Age UK report than an average of 25,000 "excess winter deaths" occur each year during the winter months (December- March). One elderly person dies needlessly every 7 minutes from the cold. That is around 206 deaths each day which could be prevented.
Yet, cold weather - in itself - doesn't have to be a killer. In places much, much colder than the UK - such as Yakutsk, the coldest city in the world - the "excess winter mortality rate" is zero. If the Russians can protect their older people against extreme low temperatures, what can be done to help the 3.5 million at risk in the UK?
To raise awareness of the issue, Sunrise Senior Living is backing the Knit for Winter campaign.
What is #knitforwinter
Over the last couple of months we’ve been working with a community of talented knitting bloggers who have been knitting hats, scarves and gloves to be donated to age charities. These charities will take the donations and sell them in their stores to raise money to deal with issues such as the elderly not being able to afford to put on their heating in the cold.
Next winter, we'll be hoping to involve even more people - from absolute knitting beginners to expert knitters - to join the #knitforwinter campaign.
In the meantime, we’ve had a fantastic response from our virtual knitting circle, who have knitted some beautiful items to donate to charity. Here are just a few of the bloggers who got involved:
“I live in the North East of Scotland with my hubby and 24/7 crafting companion...a Golden Retriever called Buddy. I've been crafting in some shape or form for as long as I can remember and I'm lucky that it is not only my hobby but also my job. My mother taught me to knit when I was 5 years old and I've been clicking away ever since. I'm so happy to see that there's been a big revival in knitting and crochet...it's a great way to relax after a busy day in my craft room.”
Follow Kath Pinterest – Kath Stewart
“I learned how to knit when I was a child, and could do the basic knit and purl, but as I grew up I lost the skill and didn't pick it up again until a few years ago when I subscribed to a knitting course. My level is still very much beginner, so my repertoire is a lot of scarves! I persevere though, and my mother-in-law is a fabulous knitter who has kindly taken me under her wing to teach me more stitches and how to follow patterns.”
I wouldn't consider myself an accomplished knitter! As a child I remember my mum and auntie seemed to always have the knitting needles at the ready and knitted us an array of jumpers! My mum has knit my own children lots of lovey jumpers and cardigans and it’s rekindled my desire to want to learn. When I was younger I would knit squares and such and before my daughter was born I knit her a hat, which I was very proud of! I am hoping the #knitforwinter project will kick start my love of knitting again and give me that excuse to really get stuck in - with a little help from my mum of course!
“I blog as scruffy badger about my sewing, knitting and running adventures - and try to have fun with it, well I amuse myself anyway, and hope that I spread some chuckles around everynow & then.
I am obsessed with sewing and make all of my own clothes - I have only bought a couple of cardigans in the past three years, and undies & shoes (but my, am I an accomplished shoe buyer!)
I LOVE sewing, knitting on the other hand still perplexes me & anything new throws me into paralysis. I am happiest with a simple pattern, nothing too confusing, and seem to knit for other people - I give most of my knitted things away as gifts. (No one's complained yet!) Knitting is good for pinning me down at the end of an evening when I need to relax, but not feel idle. Preferably in front of a good drama and with the fire blazing. My knitting confession - my Mum helps me out a lot when I get stuck! She has even been known to rip out & pick up for me....she's so good to me. When I am not creating, I run. I am not fast, and like longer runs, I guess 10 miles is my favorite distance. At the moment I am training for the London marathon. That's just a bit longer than 10 miles ..... ”
I grew up in the East Midlands but, after five years living in the Big Smoke, I consider myself a proper Londoner these days. When not working in a university Outreach team, I can generally be found by a radiator, wearing large socks, drinking my third cup of tea in a row, latest WIP (Work In Progress) in my lap. Although I was tempted by the dark side of yarn some time ago (crochet, of course), I still occasionally knit, and like experimenting with unusual materials like t-shirt yarn, plastic bags and jewelry wire. I have been known to leave the sofa on occasion, in favour of climbing walls and yoga studios (but I don't like too many people to know about that).
How can you get involved?
If you have a knack for knitting and would like to get involved with this campaign and be featured as a knitter, leave a comment below and we’ll be in touch.
You can also get involved by following the progress of our knitters online. Simply search Twitter for the hashtag #knitforwinter or check out our Twitter account @SunriseSrUK for re-tweets and updates.