Higher Fold Community Centre is a community centre with a heart as they prepare Warm Packs to help people in need this winter. The Not-for-Profit community centre supports families and people that live on the Higher Fold estate in Leigh, Greater Manchester. Their facilities include a Children’s Nursery and a Community Food Shop, providing high-quality, low-cost food. Higher Fold Community Centre is a modern, friendly community hub; I proudly donate knitted baby clothes from Verve’s ‘Knitting for Babies’ campaigns to help them keep their babies warm and snug.
Verve’s ‘Knitting for Babies‘ campaign is in its 4th year. Keeping babies warm and snug with donations from kind-hearted knitters throughout the UK is what we do. But Mums and Babies are going to need extra support this year. The cost-of-living crisis is biting hard, and people who struggled before the cost-of-living crisis now face a harsh winter. Sadly, many of us will struggle to stay warm this winter, and often we face a choice of either heating or eating. However, as always, communities rally around each other in times of hardship; let’s face it, after 12 years of austerity and a pandemic, we’re becoming conditioned to it.
Higher Fold Community Centre: we need more blankets.
I created the Knitting Baby Clothes to support Mums in Winter campaign to support community centres and our Sure Start centres to help Mums and babies during the pandemic. One of the centres I donate to is Higher Fold Community Centre, and this year, I arrived and met Lee Whalley, Higher Fold Community Centre manager. Lee and his team were busy when I arrived; they were surrounded by what looked like camping bags.
Lee asked me if I had any hats and blankets. He explained he needed them for the Warm Packs they were putting together. Lee said the warm packs, which I assumed were camping bags, would ‘keep people warm and occupied during the winter.’
The Warm Packs have items to help people ‘keep warm and occupied during the cost-of-living crisis.’ Lee said they needed more blankets but didn’t need to be knitted. I naively asked him, ‘are these warm packs for the homeless?’
Warm Packs are for people to use in their homes.
Lee looked at me and said,’ No.’ ‘ The warm packs are for people to use in their homes.‘ Furthermore, he said, ‘like many on the estate and other estates, people face a choice this winter; they either heat or eat.’ ‘Also, if the power cuts do come, which the media threaten will happen, those who are already vulnerable will suffer.’ Thankfully, Wigan Council, Lee and his team have devised a plan of action with the ‘Warm Packs’ to help this winter due to the cost-of-living crisis.
Higher Fold Community Centre ‘Warm Packs’ campaign.
‘Higher Fold Community Centre have a limited number of Warm Packs to hand out to those most in need this winter. We understand there will be huge demands for these, so please only get in touch if you are in the most need. Items included in the Warm Parks are donations from Wigan Council, Verve CIC, and Kerry’s Corner to keep people warm and occupied during the cost-of-living crisis. Thanks to Verve, we have Warm Baby packs with hats and blankets, which their volunteers have lovingly made. We can’t thank them enough! We have three warm pack categories: adult, child & baby.’
‘If you need help, drop us an email, message us or pop in and say hello. Also, did you know we’re a warm hub? You can stay warm in the centre this winter, and we will refer you to Wigan Council’s AWARM service for ongoing support if you need it. To find out more about the AWARM service, click on this link AWARM Referral (wigan.gov.uk).’
‘We pray we don’t have power cuts.’
The real problem is that many people may not come forward because they think others need the service more than they do. Higher Fold Community Centre need our support to ensure that every person gets the help they need to stay warm this winter.
Blankets and sleeping bags are desperately needed. If you have any throws or fleecy blankets, or if you are a business that can donate stock to help those in need during the cost-of-living crisis, please get in touch. Verve will continue to donate hats, blankets and knitted toys for children this winter. We pray we don’t have power cuts, but we will be prepared and stronger if we do.
Verve’s campaigns help families in need, and all the knitted items donated go directly to local community centres and Sure Start centres. We will not stop these campaigns; I create and manage them free of charge because they make a difference. And to the 110 knitters who help me, thank you. You are the difference our communities need. More importantly, together, we are stronger.
If you can help, please get in touch with Higher Fold Community Centre at 01942 674548 or visit their website at Higher Folds Community Centre or Facebook page. Alternatively, please send your details to me on the contact form below. We know that money is tight, but whatever you can do to help, please do it because your support is very much appreciated. Thank you.