Team Naenae are a dedicated group of knitters who have been hand crafting warm woollies for our lucky Plunket kiddies for over three years.
They love knitting because they see the need for warm items in their community. “I live down the road from our local primary school and intermediate and the amount of kids I see going to school with no coats, no jerseys or anything like that is huge. So it’s really satisfying after you see kids walking around in scarves and beanies that we made. That always makes you feel good.”
While they love to knit to keep local kids warm, the bonds made between the people in the group keep them coming back each week. “The core agenda is always there, we’re providing a much needed product, but the camaraderie once you get to know people is just as important. I’ve got a lot of friends that have passed on, a lot of friends that have moved away, so I needed to meet new people, that was very important to me and it’s nice to be knitting too. It’s just a nice place to be.”
Support for the group comes in all shapes and sizes. Team Naenae rely on the community to provide wool for the group, usually recruited through the local newspaper and online. Further wool, and emotional support come from their families. “My daughters think I’m nuts because they’ve never knitted themselves. They think I’m a bit eccentric. But they are still very supportive. They talk to their friends and ask them if they have any wool that they might like to donate so that’s worked out very well.”
The group warns that knitting isn’t for everyone, and when it comes to volunteering, it’s all about what you find meaningful. “There are a lot of things out there that you can volunteer for. I very quickly found things that I could volunteer for. At the time I was looking the council provided an A4 of activities that you could do – computer things and the like. But I just thought that’s not me! You need to find something that’s worthwhile to spend your time doing. I saw this in the newspaper and thought that’s something I’d be interested in doing, and I’ve been here ever since!”