Knitting builds networks – warms lives

JULY 15, 2016

What started out as a low-key act of charity a year ago has blossomed into a fully-fledged network of knitters at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU), whose efforts will soon warm the lives of others.

NMMU’s Horticulturalist Elana Storm starting knitting and crocheting squares for blankets along with a couple of work colleagues with the idea of raising funds through a raffle for the finished product.

But like the flowers she and her team nurture on all seven of NMMU’s campuses, the initiative blossomed – and on Monday Elana and some of her fellow knitters will hand over 18 blankets to a retirement home in Despatch called Huis Najaar.

“The project grew exponentially and so we decided to keep going until Mandela Day 2016,” said Elana.

Apart from the reward of giving, Elana highlighted the positives derived from the ever-growing knitting network of staff members and their friends.

“We’ve been able to make new friends and deepen friendships, even if we aren’t always able to all knit together. There are about 25 folk across all campuses who have been knitting towards the blankets,” said Elana.

“It’s had an amazing effect of bringing staff members out of their offices, into their common rooms. It’s had a great effect on staff morale and team spirit.”

  • NMMU staff have been called on to live out the legacy of their namesake on Monday by doing something as individuals, departments, schools, units or even entire faculties that is meaningful for them in line with Madiba’s values, which align with those of the University.