It's time get out your knitting needles - Wests Group Macarthur is on the hunt for handmade winter warmers to support people in need.
The 2021 Winter Appeal, an initiative between Wests and Big Yellow Umbrella (BYU), aims to collect winter donations including blankets, scarves, beanies and sleeping bags for people experiencing homelessness.
Wests and BYU are actively seeking donations of new or handmade items only including scarves, beanies, blankets, sleeping bags, backpacks, reusable water bottles, towels, face washers, toiletries and/or Kmart vouchers.
BYU Kim Landouw said items could be delivered to a nominated collection points at Wests League Club Leumeah and the Big Yellow Umbrella head office in Narellan before Monday, July 5.
"In the past 18 months, we have seen an enormous increase in the prevalence of couch surfing, homelessness, mortgage and financial stress in the region," she said.
"Every donation goes a long way toward assisting those less vulnerable and facing homelessness over the colder months"
The campaign has been designed to support the MacArthur Homelessness Steering Committee, representative body of a network of organisations in the region providing support, counselling, food, clothing and accommodation for the most vulnerable.
Wests Group chairman Alan Buxton said the winter appeal would support those most in need.
"This Appeal between Wests, Big Yellow Umbrella and the Macarthur Homelessness Steering Committee is a practical way to support the growing number of hidden homeless in Macarthur with our venues acting as a drop off point for donations," he said.
"We are pleased to be able to play a small role in helping individuals and families feel warm, safe and supported this winter".
The Wests community team will also host a special volunteer event, called Love Squared, at West League Club, Leumeah on July 8.
Love Squared is a knitting and crochet event for members, guests and local knitting groups to come together in person to assist in the crafting of beanies, scarfs and (10'') squares that will go onto create blankets and other handmade items to add to the winter appeal.
Those interested or with basic to advanced knitting ability are encouraged to bring along spare balls of wool from their homes (acrylic 8 ply recommended as well as their own 4mm needles).
Patterns, some wool and morning and afternoon tea will be provided.
Registration is necessary and now open via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.