A knitting group has become a “lifeline” for residents who want to battle loneliness and improve their mental health.
Every Wednesday morning from 10am until 12pm, residents from Crookes and beyond gather at Dana Cafe to ‘Knit and Natter’.
Organiser Sian Podmore, 58, who works as a part of the management team at the eatery, was inspired to start this group by her Buddhist practices.
She said: “I first came to Buddhism I was a very sick person, mentally and physically. It’s no exaggeration to say it saved my life.
“In a world where there is so much division and strife and the potential for so much disruption and unhappiness, we all need something that can bring peace, calming, care and joy into our hearts.”
Dana Cafe is run by Buddhists from the Sheffield Buddhist Centre; Sian has been part of it for 12 years.
This free group is operated to an ethos which involves “mindfulness and kindness” to help those who need support.
Ms Podmore said that the women in attendance aren’t necessarily Buddhist, but that the practices have “made a huge difference to their lives”.
The group was launched last January and welcomes around seven regular members.
They have now started a project to knit squares to create a blanket which will be donated to a charity.
Viv Drake, 63, a retired secondary school teacher, has been part of the group since the beginning.
She encourages people in other parts of the city to start groups like these.
“It’s brilliant, it’s like a lifeline – it’s lovely,” she said.
“Sometimes you just need to see people and have company, and it’s just nice to know that this is here on a Wednesday morning.”
World Mental Health Day takes place on October 10th every year to raise awareness and campaign for mental health.
Sian hopes this group continues to support anyone in the community who is feeling low.
“It’s a really good thing for people with mental health issues.
“If you can take your experience and use it to help others then it becomes your strength and you’re not a victim anymore. You won.”