A GROUP of kind-hearted grannies have been busy knitting blankets for homeless people.

So far, the women from Canvey Island Senior Citizens Association, have created 70 blankets for those in need.

The project took off after the group was chosen by Sainsbury’s on Canvey as its charity of the year and was challenged to knit a mile-long scarf.

Mary Greenhalgh, joint chairman of the association, said: “We all started knitting in January and everyone got involved. We taught a few people how to knit, sewand crochet and it just grew from there.” The women made a scarf measuring three-quarters of a mile before finding themselves overwhelmed with wool.

Mrs Greenhalgh, 78, of Felstead Road, Benfleet, said: “At that point, we realised just howmuch a mile is.

“We were just getting so overwhelmed and were having to turn the wool into reels to keep it somewhere.”

Not wanting the project to go to waste, Mrs Greenhalgh and her army of knitters decided to transform the scarf into blankets for the homeless.

With each blanket taking 50 hours to complete, the group has been working round the clock on the multicoloured project.

Mrs Greenhalgh said: “It’s amazing howmuch interest people, who before had only knitted a few squares, have taken.

“Everyone wants to get involved and the enthusiasm and energy of our patrons is amazing. It’s great how good everyone feels knitting in the evening, rather than just sitting in front of the television.

“We now have to find deserving homes for the blankets and possibly a new project to keep the buzz going.”

The blankets will go to a number of charities including Harp, the charity for the homeless, based in Southend, the Salvation Army, Centre Point in London and the Red Cross.

Cisca House, in Long Road, Canvey, has been run by a team of mostly volunteers for more than 40 years since 1969 and offers older people and pensioners subsidised meals, activities and excursions five days a week.

To get involved with the project, call the association on 01268 680985.