Co-Op supporting the Knit & Natter Group

About this cause

The group meets at Torrington Town Hall every Wednesday. They are a disparate group of women from all walks of life, many of them vulnerable, who support each other and engage the town in community knitting projects. The latest project was 21,000 poppies knitted by 2,000 knitters. The funding would help extend outreach work to nursing homes and people living alone.

Great Torrington Community Knit & Natter Group on Facebook

How this cause brings people in the community together

The knit and natters relied on Messenger groups and telephone calls for support and reassurance during lockdown. Those in the group who suffer from mental health and low self-esteem issues will rely on the group even more post lockdown. During Covid-19 we have identified more vulnerable people in the community and we want to reach out to these new groups of people by getting them involved.


Unfortunately, due to the latest Government guidelines we will be closing the Town Hall on Wednesday 4th November at 4pm and re-opening as soon as we are safe to do so.

Our Hog Roast take-a-ways on Friday 6th November WILL STILL GO AHEAD (this service is line with Covid guidelines for outside take-a-way outlets)

The following events are now cancelled until further notice

Monday Job Club – Iain Harris, the Job Club co-ordinator will be working from home and can be contacted on 07377 563929

Wednesday Knit & Natter – If you would like any information about the Knit and Natter group, please contact Anne Tattersall on 0797 1696192

TOWN HALL AGM – Thursday 26th November – The AGM will now take place at the Town Hall – 5pm on Thursday 17th December


Saturday 14th November – The American Soul Food evening has been postponed until Saturday 5th December.  This event will replace the Italian evening which was scheduled for that date

Sunday 22nd November – The Sunday Lunch has been postponed until Sunday 6th December

Craft & Food Fair Saturday 5th & Sunday 6th December – We will no longer be holding this event and hope to do a similar one at Easter.

For any additional updates please log on to our website

Christmas Food & Craft Fair

Torrington Community Craft and Produce Fair

Torrington Town & Community Hall

Friday 4th & Saturday 5th December 2020

We will be holding a Community Craft and Produce Fair in the Town Hall on Friday 4th and Saturday 5th December.  The Fair will be aimed at local people who don’t normally showcase or sell their work.  We are looking for creative people who want to earn a bit of extra cash for Christmas or to raise money for their favourite charity.  So, if you’ve been baking cakes, chutneys or other produce, knitting, crocheting, painting or crafting and would like to take part in this inaugural Community Craft and Produce Fair, please email Anne Tattersall at:  or ring her on 0797 1696192 for more information.

Christmas knit, stitch or craft Competition





The Torrington Knit and Natter Group who meet at Torrington Town Hall every Wednesday from 10am to 12 noon, are inviting people to get creatively competitive in the lead up to Christmas.  The Group who are already clicking and sewing a giant Christmas Tree and nativity scene which will be on display at the Town Hall from Tuesday 1st December are hoping people from across North Devon will get involved.

Rosie Purcell, Founder of the knit and natter group, came up with the idea to get the community involved in her fun project by asking them to knit, stitch or craft their own Elf on the Shelf or Father Christmas for a competition which will be voted by the public on Saturday 19th December and says,  ‘People are so fed up with the Covid pandemic  so I thought, getting crafty this Christmas would bring lots of cheer to people, especially those living alone.’

Anyone entering this FREE competition should send or drop off their masterpieces to the Town Hall no later than 30th November.  All entries will then be displayed in the Town Hall on 19th December from 10am to 2pm for the public to vote on their favourite.  The person with the most public votes for Santa and Elf will be declared winners.


For further information: Contact Anne Tattersall at Torrington Town Hall on 0797 1696192


Great News for Torrington Job Club

Diversification and Training is the way forward to help combat rises in unemployment since the Covid Pandemic!

Grant funding opens new Career Opportunities for

Torrington Job Club Members


EU Social FundThe Torrington Job Club which was set up as a part of the ESF and ESFA Community Grants Project in January of this year, had an unexpected boost to help two local Torrington men increase their options to find new employment into a progression from the project.

The Community Grants project which offers a free and friendly course, to support you into work, or a course that will enable your potential to secure work. We offer professional guidance with CVs, cover letters, and speculative letters. We offer mock interviews, to totally prepare you for the real thing! We can support and advise you; identify funding and training; assist with online job search and email set up.

Iain Harris who runs the Job Club from Torrington Town & Community Hall every Monday from 10am to 1pm has seen a significant rise in the number of people attending the weekly job club and is acutely aware that number are likely to increase with the rise in redundancies resulting from the Covid 19 pandemic and says.  ‘Unfortunately, we are facing very challenging times and we need to do all we can to help get people back in work.’

When 35-year-old Darryl Laughton lost his job as a welding fabricator at the onset of Covid, he was devastated as he has three young children and a partner to care for and said, ‘My partner Jasmine works part-time at Tesco and the drop in our weekly income was a massive blow to us as a family. After attending the Community Grants Torrington Job Club, Iain managed to find me a Vehicle Accident Repair course for me to attend at Petroc and this has given me new hope and widened the possibility of me securing work in the future.  There were no jobs in the welding sector but now I am doing something I love, learning new skills and hoping to find a job after my one-year course ends.’

29-year-old Jacob Lock has also managed to increase his job prospects by gaining a competency certificate in construction.  Jacob has been unemployed for 2 years, after losing his driving license which resulted in him losing his job, commented.  ‘When I came to the Job Club I explained to Iain that I wanted to get back into the construction section and when he suggested that he would try and find funding so I could get an upgraded Construction Plant Competence Scheme and increase my job prospects, I was thrilled.’  Jacob is also immensely grateful to Michael Lee of J.T. & M.J Lee for letting him get much needed practise on the company’s plant equipment and adds, ‘I would advise anyone in Torrington or surrounding area who looking for employment to visit the Torrington Job Club because they are so supportive and give you real hope during these hugely challenging times.’

Iain Harris, co-ordinator of the Job Club successfully applied to local charity Great Torrington Town and Lands Charity to fund the progressions into learning for Darryl and Jacob and is confident the new training and additional skills set the chaps will acquire will enhance their chances of finding employment in the future and says,  ‘We are indebted to the Great Torrington Town and Lands Charity for such important funding which will make a huge difference to our clients.

Richard Rumbold, Chair of the Great Torrington Town & Land Charities commented, ‘It gives the Trustees a great deal of pleasure to know that we have helped these two gentlemen improve their job prospects at this difficult time and we wish them every success in the future.’

The Torrington Job Club runs from the Torrington Town and Community Hall every Monday from 10am to 1pm .  New clients should ring  07377563829 to arrange an appointment to sign up to this project. Alternatively, you can call into Torrington Town Hall on a Monday (between 10am and 1pm) to arrange an appointment.

Please bring ID with you, in case we can see you immediately. ID required is DWP/Jobcentre Plus benefits notification letter, or written confirmation/ referral from DWP/ Jobcentre Plus or similar from a Careers Service. Additionally, a full passport, or ID card, or Birth or Marriage Certificate is required to confirm right to live and work in the UK.


Notes to the editor

European Social Fund

The Petroc Community Grants Fund project is receiving up to £ 900,000.00 of funding from the European Social Fund as part of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England. The Department for Work and Pensions (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for the England European Social Fund programme. Established by the European Union, the European Social Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support skills development, employment and job creation, social inclusion and local community regenerations. For more information visit

Petroc Community Grant Fund

If you would like to know more about Petroc Community Grant Fund please visit

Knitted Christmas display is next for Great Torrington Knit & Natter

The needles of Great Torrington’s Knit and Natter group are busy gearing up for a major knitted Christmas scene.

The popular group of people who gather weekly at the town hall to knit, natter and crochet has already made its mark on the town, with last year’s Poppy Project to create 10,000 knitted and crocheted poppies for Remembrance.

This Christmas, they are inviting the community to join them again in creating a giant festive scene, including a Christmas tree complete with decorations, nativity scene and a Christmas street theme.

In recognition of their part in the community, Torrington mayor, Councillor Keeley Allin, has presented the group with her Good Citizen Award for 2020.

Cllr Allin said: “I have also received comments about how warm, welcoming and friendly the group is, with some members even travelling from outside of Great Torrington for weekly meetings.

“Community is what our town thrives on and so I know that this community group are truly deserving of the award.”

Knit and Natter

The group meet weekly at the Undercroft at the town hall from 10am to 12noon, while during the Covid-19 lockdown they have been speaking regularly on Facebook, while those without social media have received weekly calls from the town hall manager.

Attendance during normal times ranges from 20 to 35 each week and numbers had been growing, with people from all walks of life.

Some of those in the group have been ‘socially prescribed’ by their doctors and social workers and the weekly meetings have been a lifeline for them.

Knit and Natter was set up in July 2019 by local lady, Rosemary Purcell (Rosie). Following her son Michael’s death in 2015 Rosie suffered from severe depression and struggled to socialise.

As she slowly recovered, she wanted to set up a group to help others in similar situations to herself and to share her skills and passion for knitting.

Other group projects have included twiddle muffs for people suffering from dementia, blankets and mittens for premature babies, plus a stunning knitted Mayfair scene this year that unfortunately could not be publicly unveiled as planned because the event had to be cancelled due to coronavirus restrictions.

It is an uncertain time, but the members of Knit and Natter are hopeful of being reunited again when things improve.

Original Story from North Devon Gazette