News

This man has knitted 2,000 hats for LGBTQ+ people experiencing homelessness

Andy Sproston knits a hat a day and has teamed up with Everton’s LGBTQ+ supporters group Rainbow Toffees to help get his knitwear to the people who need it.

Homelessness

Andy Sproston knits a hat every day to donate to people who are facing homelessness. Image: Andy Sproston

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.”

homelessness
Andy Sproston has spent so much time knitting he’s worn out several looms. Image: Andy Sproston

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.

homelessness
Andy Sproston (left) has teamed up with Rainbow Toffees’ Paul Hession (right) to get his knitted hats to people who identify as LGBTQ+ and are experiencing homelessness. Image: Andy Sporston

Hession will still be receiving hats from Sproston during the summer months, with the avid knitter showing no sign of stopping even as the weather warms up.

Article continues below

Current vacancies...

Search jobs

Sproston added: “I’ll keep on knitting. I’ll give them to Paul and he’ll take them out next winter.” 

If you would like to donate wool to Sproston, contact @RainbowToffees on Twitter or the ‘Rainbow Toffees – the Everton LGBT Supporters Group‘ on Facebook for details.

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
FOSO is the new FOMO: Why are we so afraid to switch off and be out of office?
Work

FOSO is the new FOMO: Why are we so afraid to switch off and be out of office?

Almost no recorded cases of disability benefit fraud despite DWP crackdown: 'PIP fraud is a non-issue'
dwp pip/ disabled person
Disability benefits

Almost no recorded cases of disability benefit fraud despite DWP crackdown: 'PIP fraud is a non-issue'

Deaf man awarded £50,000 after 'oppressive' and 'discriminatory' treatment by DWP
dwp jobcentre
Department for Work and Pensions

Deaf man awarded £50,000 after 'oppressive' and 'discriminatory' treatment by DWP

Green transition: Help retrain gas workers or risk 'cliff edge' job losses, government warned
Green transition

Green transition: Help retrain gas workers or risk 'cliff edge' job losses, government warned

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know