Young people in the south-east Asian country of Laos are set to stay warm at night with the help of jumpers knitted by a branch of the Women’s Institute in Bedfordshire.
The Heath & Reach branch in Leighton Buzzard were inspired to get their needles and lots of colourful yarn out to help youngsters after a talk given to them by Peter Banwell, a trustee of the Lao Educational Opportunities Trust who lives in the town.
He learned about the country on a visit in 2008 and pointed out that while it is hot by day, temperatures plunge after sunset. He asked the institute for its help and found plenty of willing volunteers.
Mr Banwell told the Leighton Buzzard Observer: "They said they had a knitting group and often sent clothes out to other places but never got any feedback on where they ended up.
“So I told them to send some with me and I’ll make sure they get a home because although Laos is hot during the daytime, it’s colder at night."
He added that he was able to take 50 freshly-knitted garments with him on his next trip there, followed by 100 on the following occasion. Indeed, Mr Banwell estimated, around 1,500 have now been knitted and other goods like paper and pens have also been donated by the busy knitters.
The most prolific jumper producers have been Dorothy Gearing and Carol King, who have both knitted well over 100. Indeed, Mr Banwell said Ms Gearing has now produced between 400 and 500.
It is not just the Leighton Women's Institute that has been knitting away for charity, as the Cast on Knitting Group in Mablethorpe, Lincolnshire has been busy knitting baby blankets.
Last week, the group donated a number of the items to the Boston Pilgrim Hospital.
If you fancy knitting something like this for a young child - whether they live thousands of miles away or are local - we have some great patterns you can try, like a garter stitch blanket for a baby.