It was a cracking idea for Easter and showed egg-celent community spirit - and the children loved it.

Thanks to a project from Island Community Action (ICA), every child attending nursery, pre-school or reception class on Portland was presented with a knitted or crotchet toy and chocolate egg Easter surprise.

The gifts were given by the community as a thank you for the children’s hard work during lockdown, which helped keep the island’s most vulnerable residents safe.

In total 358 gifts were delivered in the 'Knit a Chic' project, plus five Easter bonnet prizes for Key Stage 1 classes at Atlantic Academy.

Knit a Chic is part of ICA’s new Community Crafters initiative, which aims to encourage and support local residents to use their crafting and creative skills for a range of good causes.

One thankful mum, Vicky Hope, said: "My two-year-old daughter Poppy was so excited to come home from pre-school and show us her chick. Under fives have missed out on so much during a vital time for their social development, so it was lovely to know that older people locally recognise their part in keeping people safe."

Francesca Selby said: "Savannah was absolutely thrilled with her little chick. It was such a lovely thing to do for the children."

ICA Project Manager Katy Pascoe said: “We were blown away by the response to the project. Yet again Portland has shown true community spirit, with residents coming together to share their time and skills to brighten up someone else’s day.

“What we particularly loved about this project was not only its ability to bring different generations together, but also the fact that it helped reduce levels of loneliness and boredom for many of those who participated. In fact our oldest knitter was 94.”

Jayne Cox, who kick-started the idea added: “I’ve been a member of a few knitting and crochet groups for a couple of years now and after falling ill last July I found knitting really helped strengthen my hands again. I also know, as an active member of the community, that helping others is a great incentive to get up, get moving and keep yourself active.”

To find out more and to get involved check out ICA’s Community Crafters Facebook page or visit or call 01305 823789.