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We had a Panda Picnic!

Bonding Squares for the tinies 2021

Update! Delighted to be able to send this wonderful collection of Bonding Squares in July with our donation of £1150. These squares will help these tiniest babies and we are so grateful to have been able to help. Thank you so much everyone.  No more needed at the mo, but we will let you know if this changes!





So this was what we did!

Delighted to be announcing an exciting project to support some of the tiniest babies in the UK with the PaNDR team in the East of England region.

From Wednesday 7th April 2021, a new service will be launched, taking over the existing provision.. It will be called PaNDR ( Paediatric and Neonatal Decision Support and Retrieval Service). This provides a 24 hour emergency transfer service for sick babies across the region. In addition to this the service also carries out elective transfers either to repatriate babies back to their local hospital once their level of care can be stepped down, or to transport babies to other hospitals for elective care such as surgery. The team operates from the Rosie at Cambridge University Hospital.

Where do we come in?

We have been asked for some help making bonding squares for these tinies. What are bonding squares? 

Bonding Squares are knitted in matching pairs. One square is placed with a premature baby and another is worn against the mum’s skin, then the squares are swapped round every 12 hours or every time mum visits. They help with the bonding of a premature baby in an incubator and the baby’s mum. Also can help with breastfeeding in time.

Part One – Crafting Info

Please read carefully as only items meeting the criteria will go on to PaNDRs!

  • This is only a job for knitters, so hookers, now is the time to learn!
  • Squares to be 6 inches NO BIGGER please.
  • We are using Stylecraft Special DK only so we know it will be consistent in wash and use.
  • Going along with their requested panda theme we are using black and white only
  • No intarsia, embroidery, loops, flaps, or appliqués, any stitch must be dense – garter knit, moss stitch, seed stitch. Any questions please shout.
  • Squares must be able to lie flat independently
  • When finished or changing colour, ends mist be incredibly tightly tied off leaving a 6 inch tail, use a needle to sew this in please.
  • Pairs must match, when you send please tie in pairs with a bit of wool.
  • Thank you so much for helping!

Posting will be Teddington. Deadline is April 30th for our first collection, after which we will reassess what is needed and the time frame!

Part Two

To go alongside the bonding squares, with your love and support, we’d like to hold a mini fundraiser in the summer, so plan to hold a Panda Picnic ( this is another name for a Craft Sale!) Whilst the PaNDRs are run by the NHS there are always extras needed, and the group are aiming to give each child a mascot panda to keep. Be great to help them wouldn’t it?!


We are hoping to make and sell small/lightweight panda themed (only panda themed) craft items, and to keep postage costs to a minimum we ask that ideally anything made can be sent on to a buyer in a large envelope. If you’d like to help, that would be great, but we do understand that folk  have already been amazing with the Christmas and Spring sales and this may be a step too far. Please don’t worry if it is for you!

If you’d like to and are able to here are some ideas, we are sticking 100% with the panda theme.

Possible panda craft ideas

  • Cuddly pandas
  • Panda keyrings
  • Panda prints
  • Panda bags
  • Panda cards
  • Panda pencil cases
  • Panda bag tags
  • All things panda!

Posting will be Teddington. Last date for Panda crafts to be April 30th.  The Panda Picnic itself (Summer Sale) will be held online between June 10th -12th! Details very soon.


Thank you so so much lovely people! xxxxx