The Big Knitathon raises funds for Big Issue UK vendors throughout November

The Big Knitathon is back throughout the month of November, calling on knitters to join forces to support UK Big Issue vendors.

The Big Issue Foundation‘s annual event – now in its fifth year – invites new and seasoned knitters to pick up their needles and join the fun to raise money through sponsorship and sales of their hand-made items. Crochet, cross-stitch and paper crafts are also making up part of the creative efforts.

Over 80 Hobbycraft stores across the UK are taking part in The Big Knitathon to raise funds to help support Big Issue vendors.

Stephen Robertson, Chief Executive of The Big Issue Foundation, told INSP: “I am delighted to say that we have had a fantastic response in just this first week. We have had Knitathons taking place right across the country and had some amazing contributions and are really pleased to see the diversity and creativity of all the participants.”

In partnership with Hobbycraft stores across the UK, the campaign is bringing knitters together this Saturday for a host of special events. Various activities and craft workshops for all the family will take place between 10am–3pm in more than 80 superstores.

Nathan Seambler, manager of the Hobbycraft store in Edinburgh told us what he and his staff have planned for the afternoon.

“Starting at 11am we have a knitting and crochet session of garments for Big Issue vendors,” he said. “Both kids and adults can come along and do some knitting. We’ll send all the items to the Big Knitathon and other donated items can be sold to raise funds also.”

The Big Issue Foundation hopes to replicate the support they received in 2015, such as from friends Sally, Louise and Claudine, who raised £1,000 by selling a month’s worth of knitted items to family and friends.

Big Issue vendor Rose from London has been spreading the Big Knitathon word and has started up her own knitting group, encouraging people in the Muswell Hill area of the city to join. Using her skills this to help other vendors, she is keen to share the benefits of taking up the craft.

“Knitting really helped me when I gave up smoking,” she explained. “You can’t knit and smoke at the same time. Also it took my mind off the cravings especially when I was focused on a complicated pattern. Knitting has been likened to meditative yoga.”

Read more here about how to get involved with Big Knitathon, and following the campaign on social media at #TBIFKnit.