Swindon AdvertiserLottery cash set to boost community (From Swindon Advertiser)

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Lottery cash set to boost community

Swindon Advertiser: A new knitting group has established in the railway village as part of a community building effort. From left, Genett Midwinter and Cathy Lavelle A new knitting group has established in the railway village as part of a community building effort. From left, Genett Midwinter and Cathy Lavelle

A NEW crafts group has started up in one of the most historic parts of the town representing the birth of a new community spirit in the area.

Earlier this year the Health Lottery awarded £30,000 to the Railway Village so a new Community Development Officer was hired and already the benefits are there to be seen.

Yesterday the community centre opened its doors to a new knitting, sewing and craft group which is hoped will bring people together.

The group has been set up with help from Genette Midwinter, who says the group is ideal for the area.

“Since moving here a year ago, I have been keen to get to know my new neighbourhood,” she said.

“Many already know me in the Railway Village as the ‘Avon lady’. I have met with many neighbours who are interested in knitting and crafts who have nowhere local to go, so holding a ‘Knit and Knatter’ group is perfect.”

Residents are all invited to come along to either start a new project or carry on with something they have started. Tea and coffee is provided and there is also the chance to buy knitting and sewing sundries at a cut price.

Genette said: “The Central Community Centre is the ideal location for us. It’s a lovely, welcoming space and I know we’re going to be happy here. “We look forward to welcoming new members from near and far.

“We will be supporting knitting for charity, and a monthly craft fair is also in the pipeline. It’s all very exciting.”

The group is one of the first of many regular initiatives which are to be provided to the local community by the Mechanics’ Institution Trust. The organisation recently took over the running of the Emlyn Square Community Centre.

Sean Haines was recently appointed as the trust’s new Community Development Co-ordinator, and said the group was a great way to build up community spirit in the Railway Village.

“Knitting's very much in vogue at the moment,” said Sean. “An afternoon crafting beautiful creations, raising money for good causes, and having a chat with neighbours over a cup of tea, that sounds to me like an afternoon well spent.

“The Railway Village is an area which has often been neglected but now we are looking to hopefully start to build up a spirit.

“There are people around here who want to work together to build something positive. “The money we received has helped a great deal as it means I can dedicate my time to that task.”

To attend the group, just drop in on a Wednesday between 12 noon and 3pm. For more information on the craft fair and any other new projects people can call Sean on (01793) 420649.

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