A talented man from Bamber Bridge has raised £225 for charity by brightening people’s winter wardrobes and knitting handmade multicoloured scarves.
Gary Taylor, 48, has knitted around 20 scarves in recent months to meet high demand from family and friends, donating all proceeds to St Catherine’s Hospice.
But he’s also reaping the personal benefits of having something so rewarding to focus on, according to his mum Maria.
She explained: “Gary has Down’s syndrome and has poor eyesight. He has been suffering with depression for a couple of years, and he was struggling to find the motivation to get out of bed. I wanted to think of something to keep him occupied. I used to knit quite a lot when I was younger, so I decided to give that a go with him. He knitted a scarf for his dad Bernard, and lots of people started commenting on it and asking for one. It just snowballed.”
Maria also said people wanted to give a donation, and with St Catherine’s being their local charity and the fact Gary has lost a friend to cancer, they know just how much the hospice cares for people with life-shortening illnesses.
Gary’s mum thought it would be a great way of keeping him busy whilst also doing something good for the hospice.
Maria said: “It takes him a couple of weeks to complete a scarf because he can’t see very well, although the bright colours do help and people are loving them.
“We even got talking to a couple when we were on holiday in Kefalonia who asked us to post one to them when we got home.
“They sent a donation as well as lots of labels saying ‘Handmade by Gary Taylor’, which was really lovely.”
Maria and Gary visited St Catherine’s Hospice to make the donation and Gary enjoyed seeing where the money was going.
Maria said: “Hopefully, people who hear his story will feel motivated to do something positive themselves, especially if they experience depression or mental health problems, knitting or doing something else creative can be really therapeutic.”
Emma Jacovelli, head of community engagement at St Catherine’s, said: “It was an absolute pleasure to meet Gary and hear about his fantastic achievements in creating some beautiful scarves, and all whilst raising a terrific amount for the hospice.
“We’re so grateful for all the effort and time he’s spent knitting these brilliant scarves in support of our charity, and I’m sure we’ll be seeing them being proudly worn by people throughout the winter months.”