With cold weather settling in, a member of staff at North Lancs Training Group has decided to use lockdown time to make a difference to the homeless in Accrington.

Jill Partington, an Apprenticeship Manager at Accrington’s North Lancs Training Group, has joined a campaign providing scarves for the homeless and wanted to direct some of the support work via #Amazing Accrington.

During the day, Mrs. Partington looks after apprentices in the field of Business Administration, IT, and Digital Marketing, helping young people find a secure career path. She dedicates much of her spare time to helping other parts of the community including extraordinary projects like this one.

The Cumbria Way Homeless Scarf Challenge is a charity project, started by Anne Carter, which has set itself the objective of knitting the quantity of scarves that would stretch the entire length of the Cumbria Way.

The Cumbria Way runs from Ulverston in the south to Carlisle in the north, a distance of 121 km or about 75 miles. The charity organisers calculate that the number of scarves needed to stretch this distance would be about 73,000.

Jill Partington is taking part in this remarkable project and has delivered 100 scarves, knitted and crocheted by the volunteers in the group, to Maundy Relief, Accrington, the recent winners of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

Mrs. Partington is a community minded person who cares deeply about the inequality and social injustice in the area. She explained about her involvement in the project:

“Joining the Cumbria Way Homeless Scarf Challenge has been absolutely brilliant. I was looking for a new project to keep busy during lockdown, and I found out about this challenge. At first it was just something fun to do while the covid restrictions are in place, but as I’ve discovered more about the issue I realise how serious homelessness in the UK is.”

Homelessness is a growing problem in the UK and other countries. It has been described as “the world’s hidden pandemic”.

Lucy Hardwick, Manager of Maundy Relief, commented:

“On behalf of all those in Accrington be they homeless or just struggling with the cold during this pandemic, I’d like to say a massive thanks to Jill and everyone from the Cumbria Way Homeless Scarf Challenge. This is a brilliant project which will have an immediate positive effect on our community, especially now during this cold spell.”

The Cumbria Way Scarves for the Homeless Challenge couldn’t be better timed. This January has been the coldest in 10 years.

For more information about the project, including how to get involved, email endmoorcommunitycrafters@gmail.comor visit the facebook page www.facebook.com/thecumbriawayhomelesscarfchallenge2021/