A Leamington charity shop volunteer has crocheted more than 1,000 hats over the last ten years to help raise money for Warwickshire charities.
Sudesh Lekhi was inspired by a woolly hat that one of her daughters bought while travelling through New Zealand on a round the world trip in 2005.
Her eldest daughter said she wanted one like it so Mrs Lekhi picked up her crochet needle to see if you could try and make one and has never stopped since.
It takes nearly a full ball of wool to make some of the more tricky hats together with hours of Mrs Lekhi’s time.
When asked why she does it she said: “I try to help people that need help.”
Over the years Mrs Lekhi shas mastered various patterns and styles by watching and learning from online tutorials and has recently taken up making hats with knitting needles as well. It takes between two and three days to crochet some of the more detailed patterns and one day to crochet a simple beanie hat.
Always keen to produce new styles, Mrs Lekhi even replicated a high street headband accessory worn by one of her daughters on a trip to Winter Wonderland.
Mrs Lekhi has volunteered at the British Red Cross branch in Regent Street since she retired in 2010 and spends one afternoon a week helping out.
Her efforts have won the heart of shop manager Sue Gulliver, who said: “Sudesh is one in a million, always comes in and never stops.
“She’s a little treasure and we love her to pieces.
“If only I could get half a dozen like her.”
**** Mrs Lekhi’s hats and headbands are made using wool bought or donated from local charity shops including the Red Cross branch in Leamington and then donated to charity shops in or around Warwick or Leamington.
Last year Mrs Lekhi has also donated children’s hats to Operation Christmas Child to include in gift boxes for Romanian orphanages. Over Christmas her daughter Meena, a solicitor with Warwickshire County Council, takes in a basket of her mother’s creations to work and colleagues are welcome to make a charitable donation in return for a homemade woolly hat or headband. Last Christmas, £215 was raised for the Myton Hospices.