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Woollen Wonders Benefit Hawke’s Bay Community

News Release

For Immediate Release Wednesday 24 September 2014

Woollen Wonders Benefit Hawke’s Bay Community

Hawke’s Bay Regional Prison volunteer Coralie Curtis didn’t think prisoners would stick with knitting, however more than a year after showing them how to cast on, she’s pleased she’s been proved wrong.

Mrs Curtis has been working with a group of prisoners once a week since June 2013, and says the results show for themselves.

“The men have worked so hard to learn the basics of knitting and have all made huge progress. They have knitted beanies for babies and toddlers, and have a number of other knitting projects lined up,” she said.

Last month, more than 30 beanies were delivered to the Plunket Family Centre in Flaxmere for distribution to families.

Sue Winstanley from Plunket Hawke’s Bay was grateful for the delivery, “This is a great package to get as we have some families who really struggle in winter and these beanies will be welcome.”

Principal Corrections Officer Dale Grant said the prison supports the initiative. “Knitting is a recreational skill the men have picked up when they are not in education or a work-based learning programme. We are pleased they are able to make things that benefit our local community.”

Mrs Curtis teaches knitting to up to five prisoners a time, and says future projects include knitting blankets using natural fibre wool for the Special Care Baby Unit at Hawke’s Bay Hospital, poppies for a memorial at the National Army Museum and more beanies for Plunket.

“The men have learnt a new skill and are keen to put it to good use and give something back to the community,” she said.

Corrections’ goal is to reduce re-offending by 25% by 2017. Hawke’s Bay Regional Prison’s knitting programme complements other education, training and group therapy that prisoners attend. It also provides an opportunity for prisoners to practise and strengthen their communication skills, working with others, goal setting and patience.

Donations of wool can be made by contacting Vicky Mavin, Volunteer Coordinator at Hawke’s Bay Regional Prison, phone 06 872 8000.


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