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Hugs all round as charity gets knitting in Enfield

Knitted ‘hugs’ have begun appearing around trees in the borough as part of a charity art project

A tree hugger in Enfield Town
credit Enfield Council

A local charity is hoping to brighten the bleak days of mid-winter with an unusual art project of knitted arms around trees.

Members of MHA Communities have knitted the ‘hugs’ which have been safely attached to trees with the permission of Enfield Council in Chase Green Gardens, Enfield Town Park, Enfield Library Gardens and Gentleman’s Row, along with drawings created by pupils from Wren Academy and poetry selected by an MHA member.

The project’s aim is to show that kindness can be found in the most unusual places, and it is hoped the drawings which are hung beneath the ‘hugs’ can be picked up by passers-by to provide solace and joy.

MHA Communities is part of MHA, the UK’s leading charity care provider. The arms were knitted as part of MHA’s ‘Happiness Achieved by Positive People with Yarn’ (Happy) Project, established in autumn 2022 and funded by the Old Enfield Charitable Trust.

This project gathers knitters from across the borough and encourages them to spread happiness with their knitting needles every Wednesday morning at Enfield Town Library. Volunteers and knitters are able to socialise over free tea and toast.

Chinelo Anyanwu, Enfield Council’s cabinet member for public spaces, culture and local economy, said: “We were delighted that MHA Communities approached us about this project which aims to bring joy and comfort to people in Enfield. This charity carries out wonderful work with the older communities of North London to help reduce loneliness and social isolation.

“We also know how important our green spaces are to mental health and wellbeing. I am sure these installations will bring further joy to people passing through the four locations and will act as a reminder that no one should feel alone or unsupported.”

MHA Communities is a local charity enabling the older community of Enfield to live later life. From coffee mornings to exercise classes, lunch clubs to afternoon tea and much more, they offer a variety of different activities to enhance later life.

Toni Fielding, MHA Communities North London scheme manager, said: “A real community project, we are very excited to share our results with the public as they stumble across our artworks whether they’re on their daily commute, walking in the park with their dogs or catching up over coffee with friends.

“A small reminder in the landscape of everyday life that better days are on the way and that kindness can be found in the least expecting places.”