Meet the Makers

What is your name and what group do you belong to?
Alison Voorburg. The Birkenhead group.
When did you join Make Give Live/How long have you been involved with Make Give Live?
I joined Make Give Live about 3 ½ years ago.
What made you want to get involved? 
I wanted to volunteer more to do good, and to meet like minded people in my community. And I love to knit and crochet!
What item have you made that you are most proud of/loved the most?
(A) I knitted an ‘Amy all over’ which involved faux-cabling all around the knit, whilstknitting in the round, and I didn’t have to undo any rows!
(B) ‘Taylor’ (babies hat) as I added three new knitting skills to my needles 
How has being a part of MGL made you feel and how has it impacted you
personally?
It makes me feel very connected to my community, empowered that I am doing good, and happy that the beauty of handmade items are valued.
What impact do you think the publicity around Baby Archie wearing a Make Give Live hat will have on the future of the organisation?
Hopefully it will have a long-term benefit to Make Give Live, enabling more groups to form, supporting those who take part, and allowing us to do more in the community to help those who could do with a mental and/or physical boost.
What else are you passionate about and what are your other hobbies?
Some would say I am obsessed, I say dedicated as I spend a lot of time training for runs or recovering from them! I run marathons, half marathons, and other distances, both on road and trail, and am just about to run my first Ultra.) I have been volunteering for Achilles International for about 5-years now, and
am currently helping one athlete train for her first half marathon. I also enjoy
reading, swimming. I knit and crochet my own projects (I always have many on the go). I love listening to music (a great mood booster if there ever was one) and play the flute, although not as often as I would like to.
Can you tell us a little about yourself? Do you work and if so what is your job? Do you have family? Any special circumstances you would like to share?
I am originally from the UK, and came to New Zealand 23 years ago, for a year’s work contract, met my now husband and stayed. I have two boys who keep me busy as I watch them grow into beautiful, kind people. The rest of my family are in England and Italy. I work for Te Whanau Tupu Ngātahi o Aotearoa (Playcentre Aotearoa) which is an early childhood organization, where I took my boys, as the parents are the teachers, which I loved, being immediately involved with their pre-school years.
  

 

Sheryl, 48, lives on Auckland’s North Shore. She joined our Birkenhead Group when it started out in 2016. She is the marketing and communications manager for Diversity Works New Zealand, the national body for workplace diversity and inclusion, and is also involved in respite foster care.

What made you want to get involved?
I had just taken up knitting again and was excited about the thought of something I was making going to people who needed it.

What item have you made that you are most proud of/loved the most?
I love our Bobbi hats – they are made with chunky wool and I think they are really funky. One day I walked into one of our stockists to show a friend I was shopping with our hats, picked a Bobbi off the shelf, looked at the label and realised it was one I had knitted. That made me pretty proud.

How has being a part of MGL made you feel and how has it impacted you personally?
I love being part of Make Give Live – I’ve met some amazing women, I’ve learned new skills and it’s opened the door to some incredible experiences. I got to hang out with Orange Sky giving hats to homeless people who were doing their laundry in a mobile van. I visited the Refugee Resettlement Centre in South Auckland and gained a small insight into what life is like for people starting their lives again in a little country halfway around the world. And I delivered hats to some delightful, funny senior citizens living in a community housing area.

What impact will the publicity around Baby Archie wearing a Make Give Live hat have for the future of the organisation?
It’s fantastic to have this opportunity to raise awareness here and overseas of the work Make Give Live is doing.  As a maker, I’m thrilled to have more customers. It’s really rewarding to know your hats are going to people who love them enough to buy one! It’s fun to be busy and the extra sales mean we can make even more hats to give away to people in need.

What else are you passionate about and what are your other hobbies?
I still play field hockey, very slowly! In summer I love going to the beach and away for weekends with friends.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

What is your name and what group do you belong to?
Delia Middleton.The Birkenhead group.

When did you join Make Give Live/How long have you been involved with Make Give Live?
I joined Make Give Live not long after it started, about 4 years ago.

What made you want to get involved?
I was recovering from a bout of clinical depression at the time and off work on sick leave.  My Occupational Therapist had asked me about activities I enjoyed growing up that I may like to get back into in a low stress environment.  Knitting sprung to mind having been taught many years earlier by my Mother and Grandmother. I googled knitting groups and happened upon Make Give Live.  Claire’s personal experience with depression. knitting as a form of therapy, giving back to others and socialising with others people in my community resonated with me and inspired me to make contact.

What item have you made that you are most proud of/loved the most?
Two items.  My very first hat which was a ‘Madison’.  The fact that I had finished a project gave me a great sense of achievement after feeling like a ‘loser’ for so long.  Many items later after my confidence grew, I knitted myself a shawl from what started out as a tangled mess of wool. Never knit straight from a skein was the lesson learnt!  It was a great test of my ability to concentrate, be patient and see the project through to completion.

How has being a part of MGL made you feel and how has it impacted you personally?
It has given me purpose, regular goals to achieve, a sense of belonging to my community, new friends, and most importantly led me to get in touch with my love of volunteering and helping others.  Not long after joining Make Give Live, I became a Volunteer Visitor for Age Concern as I have always loved the company of older people and am now also in a paid role as Social Connections Co-ordinator.  I have loved all the opportunities to be involved in giving away hats, including beanies for Age Concern clients, face cloths for Age Concern’s Christmas gift bags, beanies for seniors in social housing villages, and a learn to knit session at the Refugee Resettlement Centre in South Auckland.

What impact do you think the publicity around Baby Archie wearing a Make Give Live hat will have on the future of the organisation?
It has really put the MGL brand and the purpose behind it on the worldwide stage which is wonderful.  It has resulted in an increase in stockist interest, sales, resources to give away, and volunteers wanting to get involved which will hopefully continue to improve some of the social connectedness issues we see in our community today.

What else are you passionate about and what are your other hobbies?
I am passionate about my work at Age Concern and helping seniors in our community to overcome social isolation and loneliness whether through a one on one visitor or group activities in the community.  I am an outdoorsy person who also loves adventure. Hiking has been a big part of my recovery from depression. Getting out into nature is very therapeutic and sharing experiences with others. I recently walked the Camino de Santiago, an 800km pilgrimage route across Spain which was a massive achievement and so much fun, albeit painful at times!

 

What is your name and how old are you? Jess Bould, 30

When did you join Make Give Live?
I joined MGL in June 2018

Which group do you belong to?
I belong to the Christchurch group - which I help run :)

What made you want to get involved?
I really loved the idea of MGL and the positive impacts it has - through helping local community as well as creating a supportive friendly environment to expand and teach skills.

What item have you made that you are most proud of/loved the most?
I’m a self taught knitter so to date, my proudest achievement was learning to cable...self taught!

How has being a part of MGL made you feel and how has it impacted you personally?
I feel privileged to be part of the MGL community and seeing the impact and joy something as simple as a knitted hat can bring to my community. My group are a creative bunch and I love seeing the fabulous designs they surprise me with week after week.

What impact do you think the publicity around Baby Archie wearing a Make Give Live hat will have on the future of the organisation?
The publicity from baby Archies has been incredible but so heartening to see so much support and most importantly the message and purpose of MGL being shared around the world. I hope the message continues to be spread and that our MGL community grows so we can continue to help our local communities.

What else are you passionate about and what are your other hobbies?
I’m very passionate about food...i love to try new recipes and am currently working my way through Vegful by Nadia Lim. I also love nature and hiking (the knitting comes along too) but can be tricky to get away as often as I would like!

Can you tell us a little about yourself? Do you work and if so what is your job? Do you have family? Any special circumstances you would like to share?
I’m the youngest of three girls, all of us being incredibly lucky to have picked up crafting skills through our lives. While I am the only knitter of the 3 of us, 2 of us crochet and all 3 of us sew and none of us are afraid to try and make someone we see in a store (to varying degrees of success!). 

By day, I’m an environmental planner and really love my job. It’s hugely variable and always presents a challenge but I especially enjoy seeing projects come to life and be used by many. By night, I co-ordinate the Christchurch MGL groups and try and help out with MGL as much as I can.

Next project/ work in progress?
Next project is the Veela beanie by Jenny Noto who is a Canadian pattern drafter. She names her patterns after the Harry Potter series (how cool!) and I was very lucky to recently test one of her patterns. Very excited about this next project!

 

What’s your name and how old are you?
Anita Zaveri and 50 years

When did you Join Make Give Live?/ How long have you been involved?:
Since April 2019, when the group in Howick was started.

Which group do you belong to?
Howick

What made  you want to  get involved?
I came across Make Give Live through a newspaper article, and read more about them, and then had to opportunity to meet with Becky over a cup of coffee and their ideas vibed with mine.  Working with yarn through knitting or crochet is such a beautiful craft, I have been passionate about it since I was a child, but never got the opportunity to spend time with it. And Make give live seemed the perfect opportunity to channelise my talents and energies towards a good cause. 

What item have you made that you are most proud of?
The first of the sell Beanie, Misha. I have made lots of beanies to give and many other garments, but the first one to sell for MGL was a proud moment. 

How has being a part of MGL made you feel and how has it impacted you personally?
A feeling of belonging to a great supportive group and knowing that I in turn can support and help other people, be it someone who is part of the group or the one who receives the give away hat. I also feel that the items we make are put to good use, and sent out in the wider community, which has more impact as a group than going out and helping alone.

What impact do you think the publicity of Baby Archie wearing a MGL Hat will have on the future of the organisation?
Its already had a huge impact. We cant keep up with the hats that people are wanting to buy. And it’s a proud moment for MGL that of all the hats that Baby Archie would have had, the hand knitted one appealed the most!! Says a lot for the organisation, which works for the same cause that  Archies’ parents believe in.

What else are you passionate about and what are your hobbies?
I love to read both fiction and nonfiction books, and am passionate about crocheting!!! Cooking is my other go to. 

Can you tell us a little about yourself? Do you work, and if so what is your job? Do you have family and would you like to share any special circumstances?
I am by profession a dentist ( yes, you heard right!) and have my own practice in Auckland. I work full time and my family consists of my husband( who has given up on me encroaching on space in the house with the yarn boxes), my daughter who is starting out in her life, and my son who is studying in Australia.  They all fully support my passion and ears behind the walls have told me they are proud of me for doing what I do. 

Like all normal families, when my kids were young, I had no time between work and family to do anything for myself. Some rough patches in life make you think and I fell back on my hobby to crochet. It started with very small items and even granny squares which looked really lovely, but couldn’t find any shape or home. But nevertheless I continued crocheting and it kept me sane, and slowly the projects became bigger and better as I spent more time with the yarn. 

And then there came a time when all around me had received enough gifts, the scarfs, blankets and beanies were starting to pile up. (there is only so much one can give as gifts before people politely make excuses………..). it was at such a time that MGL came into my radar, and Becky asked me if I would start a group in my area, and then there was no turning back and no regrets at all. So now whenever I feel like crocheting I just pick up yarn and a hook and I know that someone somewhere will have a warm head during the winter months. 

 

 What is your name and how old are you?
Malou Vermeer, 34

 When did you join Make Give Live/How long have you been involved with Make Give Live? I joined my MGL family about a year ago, I think it was february 2019.

Which group do you belong to?
I am part of the Auckland Central MGL group.

What made you want to get involved?
I immigrated to New Zealand from The Netherlands, about 3 years ago. Because I don’t work, my social network is quite small. One day I read an interview in the AA magazine with Claire, and her story really resonated with me, because back in The Netherlands I went through a similar situation as she did. Since I was looking for something where I would meet other people to get out of my isolement, and I was already knitting every day, it seemed like the perfect combination! MGL connects people by sharing creativity to help others. Everybody wins. The world got a bit more beautiful. 

What item have you made that you are most proud of/loved the most?
I am quite happy with the sweater I knitted for my 1 year old son. 

How has being a part of MGL made you feel and how has it impacted you personally?
It has been so good for me. Sometimes I felt quite lonely, far away from my family and friends. Starting a life in a new country is very exciting, but also very hard. To get to know new people, you really have to make an effort. My knitting group really helped in that way, because I got to know so many new people who are all so lovely! They make me feel at home and include me in their lives. I feel truly supported.

What impact do you think the publicity around Baby Archie wearing a Make Give Live hat will have on the future of the organisation?
I think we might slowly grow bigger, because it really put us on the map. Because of that, more people can be ‘saved’ from loneliness and get connected. And, if lucky, not only in NZ, but also overseas! 

What else are you passionate about and what are your other hobbies? I love to travel. To be surrounded by nature makes me feel more connected. To learn about other cultures I find interesting and it can teach me a lot. I also very much enjoy practising yoga, playing the piano, reading books and, last but not least, cuddling with my little family.

Can you tell us a little about yourself? Do you work and if so what is your job? Do you have family? Any special circumstances you would like to share?
I am from The Netherlands and immigrated to New Zealand about 3 years ago. My husband Ludo and I have travelled around the world a lot before we started this new adventure and we never regretted this big step, although it has not always been easy. By now, we have our own little family;  our son Oliver was born two years ago and our daughter Violet is 1 month old. I am a full-time mama now, but back in The Netherlands I was a theatre nurse. Maybe, in the future I can be a bit of both.

What patterns do you want to make next/ are on your wish list?
I’ve been wanting to knit socks for my elder sister and a cardigan for my younger sister for ages already. That should keep me occupied for another year, hahaha. But first, some more Coco Bears to go :)

 

What is your name and age?
Alexandra Rose, 32

When did you join Make Give Live/How long have you been involved with Make Give Live? Since May 2016, I had to ask facebook that one!

Which group do you belong to?
Riverhead, but i've been MIA since having a baby

What made you want to get involved?
I love crochet and Claire is just so inspiring. She captivated me and I wanted to be part of her dream.

What item have you made that you are most proud of/loved the most?
My wedding dress, it was my greatest crochet challenge and i'm still shocked the image in my head came to life.

How has being a part of MGL made you feel and how has it impacted you personally?
My crochet was in a lag point when I moved to NZ, I left all my supplies in Canada and completely lost my ‘crojo’. MGL re-energised me and has inspired me to develop my skills further.

What impact do you think the publicity around Baby Archie wearing a Make Give Live hat will have on the future of the organisation?
I think people who bought from the hype will not only buy more but will also spread the word. Now that they have an MGL hat they can see the impressive quality and all the effort that goes into these beautifully handmade pieces.

What else are you passionate about and what are your other hobbies?  Hubby and I are big fans of cooking, we often host BBQs with friends. We also enjoy walking and trekking around, there are so many beautiful spots around Auckland. And of course travel, we actually met on an overseas holiday.

Can you tell us a little about yourself? Do you work and if so what is your job? Do you have family? Any special circumstances you would like to share?
I moved to Auckland from Canada nearly 7 years ago.
Our family grew last year adding a little girl, who is an absolute dream baby. Miss Sylvie is also a part of MGL, she helps modeling rompers, booties and hats. We also have a miniature schnauzer named Steven, who is a rather cheeky dog and likes to steal the baby's food.