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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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