Melksham nan’s knitting charity drive

This Is Wiltshire: Audrey Sanders, of Melksham, with her latest batch of bears knitted for charity Audrey Sanders, of Melksham, with her latest batch of bears knitted for charity

Most children have a favourite teddy, but one Melksham woman is spoilt for choice, having knitted more than 80 for children’s charities.

Audrey Sanders, 76, has only been knitting her teddy bears since Christmas, but has already managed to produce 80 of them. When the bears are finished she donates them to the Trussell Trust charity, though Salisbury Shopmobility, and they are taken to Bulgarian orphanages.

She started knitting the bears as a bit of fun, but has now become a one-woman bear factory. “The knitting pattern was given to me by my daughter-in-law as a Christmas present, after she saw it on a noticeboard at her work, and we both started knitting. “She packed up after six months, but I’ve kept going and done about 80 of them now,” she said.

The trust donates the bears to underprivileged children in Bulgaria, which is the poorest country in the EU. It is estimated that 150 children are abandoned in the country every month.

Despite the marathon effort with her needles, the Melksham grandmother has no desire to give up and recently gave a batch of 50 bears to the charity. She has temporarily switched to knitting hats for the children, but plans to go back to bears soon.

Mrs Sanders was a novice knitter when she took up the challenge and had not made anything in years, but is now a total convert. She said: “I hadn’t knitted anything since my children were babies. Now they’re in their 50s. I’ll still sit down this evening and carry on with it.

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