Words by Smiley Team
When he isn’t doing his day job, 57-year-old Andrew Sproston, who lives in Liverpool, is knitting hats for homeless people within the LGBT+ community.
He had knitted scarves for a long time – and always wanted to make hats, but couldn’t follow a pattern with knitting needles, he says. “I saw the looms on sale one day and decided to try,” he tells Smiley News.
“I have never looked back.”
Andrew started knitting for the homeless five years ago. He has friends who are part of the community and has always supported rights for them. “I can generally knit one hat a day, usually when watching TV,” he says.
“I give a sack of them to Paul at Rainbow Toffees every 4/6 weeks. He hands them out along with hampers. My wife and I will also go around the city in the colder weather giving them out to people living on the streets!”
Rainbow Toffees is an LGBTQ+ supporters group, which promotes equality within the wider community. It is the official LGBTQ+ supporters group of Everton Football Club.
“When we give [that hats] out, often we find the people thanking us and asking why we do it?” says Andrew. “The answer is simple, we do it because as Christians it is the right thing to do.
“Nobody in this day and age should be living on the streets. We help where we can. often we will be with the person chatting, they will sometimes tell us why they have ended up on the streets. If one hat can bring a smile to their face then we have done our job.”
Andy asks for donations of wool from his local church family, or by putting appeals out on Facebook.
DONATE: You can donate wool to Andy through Rainbow Toffees. Get in touch with them on Twitter.
VOLUNTEER: Support people within the LGBT+ community by volunteering with Stonewall.