Sewerby WI’s campaign will keep soldiers warm

Sewerby WI hand over scarfs to members of the armed forces. PA1237-9
Sewerby WI hand over scarfs to members of the armed forces. PA1237-9

AS WINTER draws in service men and women will be kept warm on cold Afghan nights with scarves knitted by a group of Bridlington women.

The Women’s Institute at Sewerby led a campaign for knitters to make scarves to keep soldiers of the Royal Dragoon Guards warm whilst on tour in Afghanistan – and have managed a total of 265.

Knitters from as far away as Scotland got involved as did local groups the Seaside Stitchers, Nafferton Wives, Kilham Quilting Group, Bridlington Bay Knitters and members of the Priory Church.

Two soldiers from the Royal Dragoon Guards Yorkshire and Ireland Cavalry were at the WI meeting, on Monday at Bridlington North Library, to accept the scarves and take them back to the base at Catterick.

The idea originally came about when Vanna Homan, 80, a member of Sewerby WI, had a request from her grandson, Charlie Baxter, a Trooper in the Royal Dragoon Guards, that she make him a warm scarf to take on his second tour to Afghanistan.

At the presentation evening Vanna said: “This was something I could do for him, a little reminder of home and his nana. I realised there must be many soldiers who would like a scarf whilst on tour, this gave me the idea of asking my friends in the WI to knit scarves.

“I would like to thank everyone who has helped in any way to achieve this grand number. We all hope they all come home safely.”

Trooper Daniel Smith, 23, said: “It means that people care, it seems that they have an interest in our well being.

“Vanna is one of the lads’ grandmothers and when she was speaking that is exactly what I expect my grandmother to say, and I was a bit choked up.

“When you are out there you have got your friends but there are times when you do miss home.”

Lance Corporal Matthew Banks, 24, said: “When you are feeling lonely, and there are times when you are on a really bad low and you just want to go home, and you crawl into your bed and find something that reminds you of home, it keeps you going.

“What keeps us going is when we get support from the local people like yourselves, so thank you very much the lads will appreciate it.”

Elizabeth Whitaker, President of Sewerby WI, said: “We are ecstatic and overwhelmed actually, we didn’t expect to get so many. I am very proud of our WI, we have got a good band of ladies and they are very generous.”

Sewerby WI meets on the second Monday of the month at 7.30pm at the library.