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The Knitters & Natters of Watermark fundraise for Manly Adolescent and Young Adult Hospice

By August 19, 2023August 21st, 2023No Comments

It started as a social gathering at the Watermark over 55’s village in Freshwater and has grown to become a creative group that is helping to make a difference to the lives of young adults with life-limiting conditions and their families. 

Group of women knitting

The Knitters & Natters of Watermark

Calling themselves the Knitters & Natters of Watermark (KNOW), the busy group are knitting and crocheting to raise funds for the Adolescent and Young Adult Hospice (AYAH) in Manly, which provides respite care to 16 to 24-year-old patients with life-limiting illnesses. 

Spokesperson for the group, Noelene, who has lived at Watermark with her husband since 2018, said The knitting group has been active for four years and it’s grown to about 20 ladies who meet twice a week. It started as a social group to get to know the residents which snowballed into knitting for families, so we decided to start knitting for a greater purpose.” 

Some of the ladies are seasoned knitters, others are just starting out, and some are picking up their knitting needles for the first time in over 30 years! United by a love of yarn and helping others, they teach each other knitting and crocheting skills and have fun along the way. 

The Knitters & Natters held a craft stall in June to sell their crafty creations. Thanks to the generous Watermark residents, nearly every item was sold within a few hours, and it raised an impressive $1,000. 

“We decided to donate the money to the AYAH as we wanted to give back to our own local community,” said Noelene. 

A few members of the Knitters & Natters paid a visit to the AYAH and returned with lots of enthusiasm for wanting to help them further. 

“The staff at the AYAH were very welcoming and it felt like a home. We had a tour of the facility and met some of the young people doing art. When we saw the wonderful work the staff do, we wanted to support them even more,” said Paula, an original KNOW member. 

Rugs and blankets auctioned at Christmas fundraiser

Rugs and blankets auctioned at Christmas fundraiser

“We couldn’t wait to update everyone about our visit at our next gathering, and that’s when we put our heads together and came up with the Christmas in July fundraiser.” 

The dinner, held on 22 July for 50 people, was fully catered for with the food supplied by the members of Knitters & Natters. 

An amazing $8,000 was raised at the event from the ticket sales and auction of some of the special hand knits that KNOW created. A few of the knitted rugs were purchased and re-gifted to the AYAH. 

Crocheted Christmas Tree for AYAH fundraiser

Crocheted Christmas Tree

The highlight was a spectacular Christmas tree made up of 301 colourful crocheted granny squares topped off by a delicately crocheted white angel crafted by Sue, a knitter of KNOW. The tree was displayed in the Watermark foyer so residents who missed out on attending the dinner could still participate in the fundraiser and donate to each granny square. 

“It was a fun evening and a huge success,” said Noelene. “The generosity of the Watermark community has been absolutely amazing towards our fundraising.” 

“If you can help, you should! Fundraising for the AYAH has really uplifted everyone,” said Sue. 

KNOW’s aim is to help raise money for the AYAH to buy a vehicle for patient transport. They hope they’ve started something that makes a difference to the lives of the young people at the AYAH, their families and the staff. 

The AYAH are so thankful to the Watermark community for their enthusiasm and support. 

“They have shown interest in getting involved in any way possible and have plans for various fundraising activities moving forward. We can’t thank them enough and look forward to continuing this wonderful relationship,” said Laura Grant, Community Partnership Manager at the AYAH. 

If you would like to support the AYAH and help make a difference to the lives of young adults with life-limiting conditions and their families, please make a tax-deductible donation here or visit our community fundraising page for ideas on how you can raise funds. 

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