Knitting for those in need



Vee Cardiff has been knitting beanies for the homeless for the best part of a decade. She tells Peninsula Living what got her started and why she is still as motivated as ever.

Long-time Dee Why resident Vee Cardiff has now knitted more than 700 beanies for the homeless community, and she’s not slowing down any time soon.

“I started knitting mittens and beanies for the homeless around eight years ago,” Vee says.

“And occasionally, I’d give them away to people – friends and family, that kind of thing.

“It all sort of progressed from there.”

Eight years on, and Vee’s tally for beanies knit stands at an impressive 757. 

Vee has worked with various charities and churches in the local area, and even takes the time to hand out her beanies personally to people on the street.

“We used to get the bus down to Manly and just hand out the beanies to homeless people,” she continues.

“They are lovely people – they just need a helping hand sometimes.”

Vee would notice people sleeping rough in the Manly area and find herself amazed how they got through the frigid winter nights with barely anything to keep them warm and comfortable.

Often, she says, they would have not much more than a couple of blankets and a pillow with them on evenings where the temperature could easily plummet into the single digits.

“Well, heat goes out of your body through your head, doesn’t it?” Vee says matter-of-factly.

“The reason I started was because I just couldn’t think of anything worse than being homeless,” she explains when asked about her motivation.

“The beanies are so warm.

“I really hope they are helping people.”

Unfortunately, Vee is currently on a COVID-enforced break.

The pandemic has forced many not-for-profits and religious organisations to reduce or suspend their operations.

She has tried various avenues to find somewhere where her beanies could be put to use since the latest government restrictions came in but hasn’t had much luck.

“I had some surplus beanies but it’s hard to give them away to charities at the moment.

“Op shops are closed, and I can’t do it through [the church] at the moment.”

But despite these obstacles, and even now that she is approaching her 80s, she doesn’t see herself stopping any time soon.

“I’ll be knitting as long as my fingers are working,” she smiles.

“I’ll keep knitting as long as I’m able to.

“It gives me something to do, and I really get a lot out of it, knowing the beanies are going to people who really need them.”

If you know of an organisation that could help distribute Vee’s beanies to those in need, please send best contact details to

David Shilovsky, Intern, Peninsula Living Magazine

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