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Toasty feet . . . Glenavy Women’s Institute members watch as Glenavy School pupils try on their knitted socks. PHOTO: BRIAR ALLEN

by Briar Allen

Glenavy School pupils had happy faces and happy feet last week as they tried on their new knitted socks.

Each child was given a pair by members of the Glenavy Women’s Institute.

President Hermien Vant Klooster had the idea in a flash one night when trying to think of ways to get the club busy again since Covid-19 disrupted their activities and meetings.

“I needed a project to bring everyone together.”

There are 22 members who are aged from 55 to over 80 and the division will be celebrating 90 years next year.

The women ended up knitting 140 pairs of socks in total over the course of a month when they needed only 95.

“This whole knitting session got people out of their houses and getting together,” Mrs Vant Klooster said.

The wool was donated by Summit Wool Spinners in Oamaru and the pupils had their feet measured to ensure each pair was personalised.

This is the first time the school has received the socks but Glenavy School principal Kate Mansfield said they will become a part of the welcome package to new enrolments at the school.

“It’s honestly going to make a massive difference, I think, for some our children. Some of them don’t have socks, some of them have holes and some of them have toes poking out, so this will be great.”

The socks will stay at the school so that the pupils can keep their feet warm and hopefully help ward off sickness this winter.

“One of our school values is community support, so we always try to get the children to do things for other people. They go pick up rubbish around the community and we’ve got veges in the garden that we will go and give to people and this is an example of the reverse of that,” Mrs Mansfield said.

Institute member Di Taylor said that it was a wonderful project and a wonderful community.

Former Glenavy Women’s Institute president Suzanne Inkson said that they all helped each other out and that “it would be great if we could do it for other schools”.

The children have been visiting Mrs Vant Klooster in the school library where she volunteers her time to say thank you for the socks and how much they appreciate them.