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18 Sep 2023

Warm babies and hearts

Applications for the September round of our Community Fund – where we support community groups and charity doing good work – have just closed, and decisions on where donations will go are pending. However, the previous March round highlighted the fund being about more than money. It got knitting needles busy across the airport!

One of the recipients was The Nest Collective, which provides warm woollen clothing and other essentials to local families who need supplies for the first year of their baby’s life.

Rather than simply give a donation to enable the charity to buy items, we put a call out across our airport team to ask whether anyone would like to handknit and donate woollen baby clothes.

The flood of gorgeous items began the next day. 

It turns out we have a significant community of skilled knitters, many of whom knit and store baby items to gift them to people they hear of who need them!

As well as knitting, others donated items their babies hadn’t used, or no longer needed, so our first donation to the charity was four large cartons of warm clothing and bedding.

The fund then bought wool for our people to knit into cute beanies, bootees, jerseys and blankets for The Nest Collective babies, and small woolly items soon began to arrive week after week.

When Glenis McNab, the local manager of the collective, arrived to meet our knitters, there were five more large cartons of knitting waiting for her and her volunteers to distribute.

Her first comment when she walked into our boardroom, where the table was covered two layers deep in small items of beautiful knitting was “Wow! This is incredible.”

Glenis told the knitters the need for their items is increasing all the time, with more and more referrals coming in daily from agencies and midwives.

As for our knitters, their handiwork is far from over. Most have now decided to keep knitting to donate direct to The Nest Collective.

“It feels so good to be knitting for people who really need it,” said one. “I knit all the time, so am thrilled I can help little babies and their families.”

The next round of the Community Fund will close at midday on 8 March 2024. Apply here.