The group has grown from an idea by two friends from Branksome Park, Poole, who last October, started knitting cardigans for pupils at Bethany School in Boscombe, Bournemouth. Ann Lee, 91, and Ann Fox, 84, presented the first four warm cardigans to the school and appealed for keen knitters to help make at least 300 garments.

Last week Frances Cornelius, chair of Variety Wessex, presented 12 cardigans to Tanya Shenton, Parent Support Worker, and Karen Rendell, Emotional Literacy Support Assistant, at St Clements School, Boscombe. Other knits have gone to Bethany School and The Bournemouth Women’s Refuge.

The Variety Wessex project is flourishing with the help of knitters from St Mary’s Church in Ferndown, Douch Funeral Directors Knitting Club in Wimborne and the Gables Care Home in Southampton. So far 104 cardigans and jumpers, 12 hats, 3 pairs of gloves, 4 babies blankets and 8 knitted bears have been presented. It is hoped that more knitters will join the project and that the target number of items can be reached or even surpassed.