Great Britain

Knitter in Ormesby knit decorative blanket depicting life in lockdown

RESIDENTS of Ormesby have produced a decorated blanket made of 150 squares depicting Life in Lockdown, but are frustrated that people can't see it.

Over 70 squares of the blanket have been decorated by knitting, crocheting and embroidery using designs by Ormesby, including children.

Some of the squares included activities such as cycling, baking and even shortages such as toilet roll and flour

The mural is now located in Ormesby library and can be seen from outside, but plans are in place to move the mural to a more public location.

The mural, which is easily foldable, could be taken on tour to schools, churches and community centres.

Carol Morgan, Councillor for Ormesby, said: “It has been lovely to just really bring the community together, and actually been brought more together if anything putting this project together.

“Some of our knitters have struggled with not having some of the meetings we normally have, and getting together, that side of things.

“We have a group that usually often meets on a Friday in the library for a little nit and natter. They’ve had to just completely miss that.

“So it has been lovely to just really bring the community together, and actually been brought more together if anything putting this project together.

“It has definitely helped to create links across out community despite being restricted from physically meeting.

“With things like this there has been a real challenge bringing it all together, but with a little network of doorsteps and porches and phone calls, we managed to bring it together.

“Janice McColm, set up a community facebook at the beginning of the pandemic and that helped to get a lot of people together with different community projects that she has organised.

“The idea was to do the squares while we were lockdown and then once we came out of the lockdown we could get together in the library or somewhere and then sew it all together, but that wasn’t possible.

“I ended up sewing all the squares together, and fortunately my living room floor is just about big enough to do it.

“The next step was trying to get a frame for it because I didn’t want it to just be folded up and put in a cupboard I wanted it to be visible to as many people as possible so that we could maybe even send it round the community to different schools and churches and so people could share it and enjoy it.

“So this lovely chap George made the frame for us which is lovely.

“It’s given people something to aim for, like a purpose, in difficult times when there’s been so much issues around loneliness and isolation which can have serious consequences around mental health.

“I think it’s been a benefit from that side of things as well.

“They’re really keen to see it up and running and we have put it in the library, but the library is closed most of the time so it’s in the window so you can see part of it.

“It’s a bit frustrating that we can’t get it out there for people to see.

Janice McColm, Rural Development Manager at Tees Valley Rural Action, said: “It’s beautiful and full of great ideas. There’s no community groups in Ormesby so that’s why I started all this.

“I think community spirit is flagging a bit at the moment and people need a boost, I’m not sure how though.

“I work for a registered charity, and because we were working from home we were allowed to do work in our own area on work time, which I thought was really good of them.

“There’s a lot of elderly people in Ormesby so I wanted to set up a page, so I set up a facebook page which unfortunately won’t reach a lot of elderly people.

“It grew from there so we ended up with a lot of people on the facebook page and a lot of volunteers. We initially did a scarecrow competition, and then we did a craft bag for the children which the police helped with, and we gave out mugs out with nominated key workers on them.

“A lot of it has been done through the facebook page.

“There’s no village hall here in Ormesby, so I’m hoping that we can bring people together enough so that when the pandemic is over, we can keep this community going, it doesn’t have to stop.

“Tees Valley Rural Action have been very supportive and we were able to get some funding from Redcar and Cleveland Council, which was given out with the Tees Valley Community Foundation which really helped us.

“And Carole Morgan our councillor has been fantastic so we have had total support from the development office from the council.

“The biggest challenge has been reaching older people because the majority of them aren’t on social media so there is a bit of a lack of joining in which is a real concern.

“I would have liked to see more of them take part.”

“The development office for this area have been really supportive and he has said that we can use the library as a village hall for the area.”

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