Mass knitting campaign will help homeless people

By on 08/03/2013 in Cllr McKay, News

A Birmingham and Solihull campaign aimed at helping people escape from fuel poverty has hit upon a novel way of raising awareness about the campaign and helping homeless people in the city at the same time.

Birmingham and Solihull Together is a four week government funded, council supported energy switching initiative devised to help local people switch gas and electricity suppliers and save money on their fuel bills. Estimated average savings are running at £133 a year.

And organisers of the campaign, which only runs until March 17, have decided to talk to people about the benefits of the scheme by hosting tea and biscuits sessions at community centres across the city and north Solihull - and are encouraging visitors to bring their knitting along. Knitting needles and yarn will be provided for those who'd prefer.

The aim is that people gathering at the community centres can stay warm in convivial company and then help others keep the chill off by knitting hats and scarves which they will donate to St Basils which works across the West Midlands helping 4,500 homeless young people every year.

The events will reinforce the Birmingham and Solihull Together messages – “Get together, save money, pass it on” and “Come on come let's switch (or stitch!) together.”

The Birmingham and Solihull Together scheme itself enables residents to switch energy suppliers by taking advantage of reduced tariffs negotiated by the campaign organisers, or tap into other tariffs which also offer better deals.

The series of knitathons was kicked off at Birmingham’s landmark River Goddess, more commonly known as the Floozie in the Jacuzzi, in Centenary Square by scheme organisers and members of St Basils.

Jean Templeton, chief executive at St Basils, said : “This is a great idea. The Birmingham and Solihull Together campaign is a good way of helping people struggling with their fuel bills. It's also wonderful that those who are benefitting from lower bills as a result of taking part are helping those for whom such a scheme is, sadly, not applicable - but who will nevertheless be warmer as a result.”

Anyone unable to pop along to one of the community sessions is invited to join in anyway either by forming their own knitathon circles at places around the city - the Mac, the art gallery, the pub or toddler group - anywhere they can get together with friends or new acquaintances, save money by using someone else’s heating and pass on the hats they’ve knitted to someone else in need of extra warmth.

Details of community events involving tea, biscuits and knitting opportunities, plus a knitting pattern for a beanie hat can be found on the website


For further information on this press release contact Birmingham and Solihull Together press officer Helen Salisbury on 01926 495425 or 07966 167269

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