Kind-hearted Andy Sproston has shown plenty of warmth to LGBTQ+ people experiencing homelessness in Liverpool – he’s knitted 2,000 hats to hand out in the city.
The full-time carer, 57, was inspired to take up the hobby while looking after a woman in his native Derbyshire five years ago and he “has never stopped since”.
Sproston makes at least one hat every day using donated and discarded wool, and decided to donate his collection to homelessness shelters The Whitechapel Centre in Liverpool and Derby’s Padley Group. Now he has teamed up with Everton’s LGBTQ+ supporters group Rainbow Toffees to get the hats to people who need them.
“I discovered I could knit hats on knitting looms and I’ve worn out about four sets now because I’ve made that many hats. I sit in front of the television just knitting and I find that if I haven’t got something in my hand doing something then I’m doing something wrong,” Sproston told The Big Issue.
“I’ve always helped people that are disadvantaged – it might not just be a homeless person – but I’m always out in the community. We went through Liverpool once and every shop doorway had somebody camped out in and I thought in this day and age people shouldn’t be doing that. It shouldn’t be like this.”
Paul Hession, events manager at Rainbow Toffees, helps Sproston to distribute the hats to people who identify as LGBTQ+ who are experiencing homelessness. He said “he hoped he’d receive the same kindness from people” if he was in the same position.