KNITTING and nattering is proving a purl of an activity for people in Halliwell.

The Precious Gems project, based at the UCAN centre on Hatfield Road, has proved so successful that it has attracted £17,000 in funding to expand its


The cash comes from the Health Lottery and is awarded by Peoples Heath Trust.

Thanks to the large grant the knitting club is planning a two-year scheme which will expand their existing Knit and Natter project.

Knit and Natter is a weekly activity programme involving sewing and knitting.

Now, once a month, at the suggestion of participants, the group will also focus on art and drawing.

The group is open to local women, many who are aged 50 and over.

Up to 30 women attend the group, many of whom are isolated, as they face the loss of family and workplace networks.

Precious Gems group leader Domina Nirere said: “We are delighted to receive money raised through The Health Lottery because’ without this funding’ we would not be able to make a positive impact in people’s


“Members of the Knit and Natter group have testified that they have overcome loneliness and isolation and have improved


The project helps to build friendships and a sense of community.

“Many say that their lives have been transformed because of this project and they look forward to meeting up on a Friday,” said


Chris Lunn, director of Health Lottery North West, said: “We are delighted that money raised by Health Lottery North West is supporting such an important local


Each month the health lottery raises money for the Peoples Health


Anyone can apply for funding so if you know a worthy cause visit the website to find out