Celebrating Sindy's baa-rilliant Jumpers

Celebrating Sindy’s baa-rilliant jumpers

Martlets supporter, Sindy, who’s 75, has donated colourful jumpers to our shops for the past five years. With our Shaun by the Sea art trail underway, we wanted to say a special thank you and celebrate her woolly wonderful knits!

This week is Wool Week, a national awareness campaign that celebrates yarns, knitting, sheep and all things woolly – and rather conveniently coincides with our baa-rilliant art trail. What better time to say a big thank you to Sindy who has been knitting and donating woolly jumpers to our Martlets shops for the past five years.

“Sindy’s jumpers sell at £15 each and we get around 50 donations from her every year,” says Louise Etheridge, shop manager at our Church Street store in Brighton. “It’s so lovely to have the pop of colour in the shop and we are truly grateful for her kindness in donating them – they bring a lot of joy and she pays for all the wool herself. Over the past five years we must’ve raised more than £3,000 from selling them. Now that we’re all flocking together for Martlets’ Shaun by the Sea, it feels like a particularly relevant time to say a big thank you to Sindy.”

Colourful knitted jumpers by Sindy

“Her jumpers are like a big warm hug – symbols of the warmth and care Martlets provides to patients and families across the city.”

Martlets looked after a good friend of Sindy’s who sadly died around 15 years ago.

“I know all about the Hospice and the care Martlets provides to people in the community,” Sindy explains. “I wanted to support them by donating the jumpers. I’ve always knitted; I’m 75 now and my mother taught me when I was just three years old because I wanted to make doll’s clothes. I buy wool in all sorts of bright colours and knit adult jumpers in different sizes. I don’t use patterns; I’ve knitted enough that I can make up the pattern myself now. The only colour I don’t knit with is black because it’s very difficult to knit with in electric light.

Pink knitted jumper by Sindy

“I had a stroke a while ago and afterwards I couldn’t walk or talk; my husband had to feed me and I couldn’t do anything. But I was determined to get my hands going and to be able to knit again.”

I’m in a wheelchair, I have a cleaner, and my husband does all the cooking, and I sit and knit all day. He’s got enough jumpers to last him if he were to live to 200! I thought what can I do with all these jumpers I’m knitting and then I thought of donating them to Martlets. Their shop in Church Street is the cleanest, nicest charity shop I’ve ever seen! So, I decided I’d donate them there. I take in at least 40 or 50 a year to the shop in October/November time, for them to sell to raise money.

The first year I did it I got an email from Martlets saying sales of the jumpers had raised more than £800. But I don’t ask them about the money now, I just love doing the knitting. I’ll pop the TV on, chat to my husband, or even read a book while I’m doing it and the jumpers keep me going.”

Sindy's jumper on a mannequin at Church Street

Customers in our Church Street shop are always commenting on Sindy’s jumpers, says shop manager Louise. Here are just some of their comments:

‘I shall treasure this jumper and bring it out every winter.’

‘How wonderful to have a hand knitted jumper.’

‘What an amazing woman to knit all these.’

‘Such beautiful colours and so beautifully made.’

‘These are just like the ones my Nan used to knit and it’s brought back such lovely memories.’

A big, warm, thank you to Sindy from everyone at Martlets, and from Shaun the Sheep! If you’d like to buy one of Sindy’s jumpers to snuggle up in this autumn she will be donating “40 or 50” more at the end of October, so pop down to our Church Street shop before they sell out again!

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Published 28/09/2023