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Somerville school knits up a storm for Salvos

Somerville school knits up a storm for Salvos

Somerville school knits up a storm for Salvos

29 October 2018

Salvos Stores chief operations officer Neil Lund, Somerville Primary School chaplain Kylie Nicholas and Salvation Army chaplain Graeme Hallett pictured with teachers, volunteers and students who are a part of the knitting club. Photo: Yanni.

By Jessica Morris

The Salvation Army in Melbourne has found an entirely new approach to community outreach, and it involves knitting.

The Salvos were given the opportunity to partner with Somerville Primary School on the Mornington Peninsula when school chaplain Kylie Nicholas started a knitting club to build better relationships with students.

Kylie got in contact with local Salvos Store chief operating officer Neil Lund, who donated knitting needles and wool to the “Thursday Lunchtime Knitting Club”.

The result has been the creation of more than 10 patchwork blankets for The Salvation Army Westernport Mission Centre.

Neil informed Salvation Army chaplain Graeme Hallett of the club, and Graeme was able to organise a Salvos gift pack for every student involved. With the additional donation of supplies and time from the local community, primary school students have been able to learn how to knit for a cause.

“The children love being involved, and it has been wonderful to see them developing their skills, making new friends and developing a sense of pride in contributing to a project that is helping others,” Kylie told the Mornington Peninsula News.

“Staff morale and student morale now is amazing,” adds Graeme. “There’s a new excitement at the school. They’re all really chuffed about it. The school principal has fallen behind it as well, and it is really entrenched in the school community now.”

The knitting club started small, with three students initially turning up, but they were able to produce the first blanket. As popularity and club numbers grew, so did the end goal. Now, more than 20 students are a part of the Thursday Lunchtime Knitting Club, and with the assistance of school staff, mums, aunties and nanas, they have completed another 10 blankets for the mission centre.

The blankets will be officially presented to The Salvation Army at an upcoming assembly, where Neil and Graeme will thank students and emphasise the importance of their contribution.

“We want to tell them what we’re about and what we do; particularly Salvo Stores, but The Salvation Army in general. We also hope to give them some donation bags for a partnership program where Salvos Stores pays $5 for good donations and we’ll sell them,” says Graeme.

The knitting club is just the first step in further partnering with the local community. Graeme and the team are excited to share the mission of The Salvation Army, with Salvos Stores as a bridge to the services and church in the area.

“It’s an amazing opportunity. We want to continue the relationship of course, and build ongoing relationships with the community. Salvos Stores is just a step in our endeavour to embrace and become involved in the wider community.”


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