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Byline: Kat Keogh STAFF REPORTER

A BIG-hearted team of knitters hope their handiwork will keep homeless Midland teenagers warm over Christmas.

The nimble-fingered team, called the Church Street Knitters, have been busy knitting dozens of hats, scarves and mittens in aid of Birmingham youth charity St Basils.

The Digbeth-based organisation helps more than 4,000 youngsters across the West Midlands who face sleeping rough. Church Street Knitters were asked to help the charity by Birmingham social networking site Hobzy, which lets craft fans showcase their work online.

The group, which meets every week at the Urban Coffee Company shop in the Jewellery Quarter, signed up to the challenge and knitted 50 items in just two weeks.

Lucy Hackett, fundraising manager at St Basils, said: "We were delighted to receive the lovely handmade garments donated from the Church Street Knitters here at St Basils.

"It's wonderful for the young people we work with who are homeless or at risk of homelessness to receive a gift like this at Christmas.

"Hobzy's support is hugely appreciated and we are very grateful indeed to all the talented knitters who kindly took the time and effort to make these items for us."

More than 18,000 knitters, crocheters, cooks and jewellery makers have signed up to the Hobzy site, where people can post pictures of their work for other members to review.

It was launched with PS100,000-worth of funding from the Birmingham Oxygen Accelerator programme, which helps city techno-geeks get their business ideas off the ground.

Dan Rice, co-founder of Hobzy, said he had approached members in Birmingham to get knitting and help people who may be having a tough time over Christmas.

He said: "We're very proud to be able to call Hobzy a community and decided to capitalise on the site's success to give something back in our home city.

"The Church Street Knitters have been Hobzy pioneers from the beginning and have previously taken part in charity work, so it was easy to sign them up."


Homeless help: From left, Hannah Snow from Church Street Knitters, Dan Rice, co-founder of the Hobzy hobbies website and Lucy Hackett, fundraising manager for St Basils charity.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Dec 24, 2012
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