|Student Leaders Frances, Teri and Debbi|
Hi! We are Teri Truong a 2nd year law student, Debbi Clarke a 1st year music student and Frances Stebbing a 1st year business student. We were the leaders for the Knit for Peace project which allowed students to knit items, such as hats, for the Knit for Peace charity. All items were made with the aim of donating them to Knit for Peace who would in turn distribute the goods to various hospitals and even different countries, such as Serra Leone, for those in need. After contacting Knit for Peace who gave us a list of items they needed, we chose to focus on knitting baby hats and the occasional baby scarf and blanket. It provided the opportunity for beginners to learn how to knit, or for experienced knitters to simply enjoy their knitting while sitting together and sharing their stories.
Since the sessions were held late in the academic year, we chose to provide three one hour sessions in April at the Kingston University Students’ Union office, as this area was well known and convenient for the majority of the student body.
As project leaders we spent a great amount of time teaching new knitters how to cast on/off and knit! Additionally, we provided leaflets with instructions for volunteers to take home for future references. Teaching the skill of knitting was something we truly enjoyed as knitting is a lifelong skill that can be used in any stage of life and can also be passed on to the next generation with great ease.
It can be said that the best moment was seeing the finishing products come together and the joy it brought to our volunteers, who were so impressed with their own skills and ability to create a knitted product. The delighted expressions on their face showed us that they were enjoying the sessions just as much as we were, and has encouraged us to continue this student-led volunteering project next academic year.
We volunteered to run the project because not only does it look great on our CV but knitting is one of our passions, and nothing would be more fulfilling than passing on this great skill to others. Also, knitting for those in need felt like a great opportunity to put our hobby into good use!
We want to encourage others to volunteer as it is rewarding and the smallest contribution can make the biggest difference. We were fully supported by Volunteer Co-ordinator Jemma Houghton and would highly recommend trying every and any kind of volunteering at least once before your time at Kingston comes to an end.
I hope you have enjoyed reading about our experience and please feel free to come along next year, as we will continue to host knitting sessions. If you have never knitted before and want to try, just come along to any of the one hour sessions. If you are an experience knitter, then you can use your skills for a good cause, and even learn how to knit new and different items with unique patterns!
Have a good summer.
Teri, Debbi and Frances