Squares for Comfort is a Newcastle-based initiative by Wendy Horder, who collects knitted squares. With the help of her friends, Wendy turns the squares into blankets for those in need. She donates them to Soul Hub, a charity dedicated to helping the most vulnerable in the Newcastle community, and Ronald McDonald House Newcastle.
We chatted with Wendy to learn more about Squares for Comfort and how you can get involved.
What motivated you to start Squares for Comfort?
“After retiring from the RAAF after a 40-year career, I wanted to do more of the things I love doing (I love crafting), but I didn’t want life to just be about me. Our family has always seen Soul Hub as a great asset to the Newcastle community. My daughter has worked a Friday morning shift there for many years, and we always donated to their appeals. But I saw the winter appeal, where they asked for blankets, as an opportunity to use my organisational and craft skills best.”
“Based on an African initiative, 'Knit-a-Square’, I thought we, ‘the Newcastle community’, could do something similar. I spoke with Matt from Soul Hub, who said he believed the blankets could be used through Soul."
And so Squares for Comfort was born.
Do you have any preferred patterns, techniques or yarns for the squares?
“We prefer darker colours but receive all kinds of patterns and colours."
“The preference is for 20 cm x 20 cm squares, but we take any size and pattern; they will all be used. If the squares are more pastel colours or smaller squares, we make smaller blankets and donate them to Ronald McDonald House Newcastle.”
“Generally, we aim to make blankets 1 metre by 1.4 metres for Soul Hub.”
Can you share a memorable experience related to the Squares for Comfort initiative?
"Recently I was out in Beaumont Street, and I saw a bed made up on the street, ready for the evening, and on top, looking warm was one of our blankets. It made me feel proud to have given some comfort to someone in need."
Who makes up the blankets?
“I have a small team of friends who sew the blankets together, and I feel very supported by them in this endeavour.”
Where can people send their squares?
If you want to get involved, squares can be sent to:
Squares for Comfort
15 High St
For more information, contact Wendy through the Squares for Comfort Facebook page.
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