Blanket Appeal - Hexham Courant
1st December 2015
Two blankets commemorating Tynedale's community spirit during this summer's Tour of Britain cycle race will be on sale in the town's Oxfam store.
During the summer holidays the tight-knit community of Mickley got busy with their needles to create over 200 miniature cycling jerseys in Northumberland's colours of red and yellow.
The jerseys were strung together to form eye-catching bunting which decorated the front of the first school for stage five of the Tour of Britain Race, which set off from Prudhoe on September 9.
Since then a team of volunteers has spent the past two months painstakingly stitching the jerseys into two cosy blankets.
The blankets have now been presented to Hexham's Oxfam shop, and all proceeds from their sale will go to charity.
Jean Hogg, from the Hexham store, said: "I've fallen in love with the blankets - they're just gorgeous.
"The incorporation of the Northumbrian flag and the link with the Tour of Britain make them very special."
The idea behind the unique bunting came from the school's wrap-around care manager, Gill Grevett, who was inspired by the efforts of local residents during the Tour de Yorkshire.
After hunting on line she was able to borrow the knitting patterns they used, which she distributed around the village, with the result that residents, church groups and businesses joined parents and children to knit and purl 220 jerseys.
Mickle's headteacher, Andy Hudson said: "When Gill suggested it, I thought it would be a nice idea and I would have been thrilled with 60 jerseys, but everybody has been so kind - the community really got involved in making them.
"We wanted to do something with a purpose; with legacy behind it. So, when we set up the bunting it was always with the intention of turning it into blankets to give to charity.
"The project has had a huge impact and for the children it has been an experience beyond school - supporting a charity and having that link and involvement with their community."