Here at Sheeps Clothing we are delighted to be part of a wonderful Department of Justice initiative that was recently awarded and recognised at the 2012 Community Work Partnership Awards.
Back in mid 2011 I was approached by the Department about an idea they had for a womens only community work programme. Participants were sourced from those that had been mandated by the courts to perform a given number of community service hours. The idea was that the participants would learn to knit if they did not already knit, then progressing to knitting squares to be sewn into blankets for distribution to the needy via the Knit One Give One organisation.
Over the 18 months that the programme has been running, we have had approximately 120 participants attend. Some for only a week or two, others for more than six months. All ladies that attended for three or more weeks have left the programme with a good knowledge of knitting basics. Some have continued to knit at home in their own time and gone on to teach their family and friends to knit as well.
I can honestly say that it has been one of the most incredible and rewarding experiences I have had. There has been lots of laughter, some tears, but the one thing I have taken from it is that despite people's many differences in backgrounds, ethnicity and age, we're all pretty similar, in motivators, what is important and what we want from our lives.
At the 2012 Victorian Department of Justice Community Work Partnership Awards, the Blankets for Babies programme was awarded the Best Location Based Programme and Overall Best Programme in the Western Region.
Fingers crossed that the programme continues in 2013 and beyond.