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Billie’s Blankets for World Child Cancer

Always thinking of beautiful Billie.

The Billie’s Blanket Project

Since the beginning, the aim of the Little Hugs has been to provide little blankets that give comfort to babies and small children who are seriously ill in hospital. This project is an extension of that and was launched in 2013 as a tribute to beautiful Billie who died at 14 from leukaemia. In her name, we send little blankets to children who really need a woolly hug and to feel loved and looked after.

We work with the wonderful organisation World Child Cancer and are arranging for Little Hugs to be sent to children suffering from cancer in low and middle income countries. In these countries their overall chance of survival can be under 10% compared to around 80% in high income countries such as ours. The first collection of Billie’s Blankets went in April 2013 to Malawi.

These children need all the love and comfort possible. So please, in memory of a sparkling young girl who always thought of others, we’d love you to help us help them. As ever, thank you so much for your support.All crafting info is below.

Trip to Belarus in April, last posting end of March 2019

Trip to Vietnam, last posting July 1st 2019

We’d love your help, this is how :

  • You can help by either making a whole blanket, Minimum size: 24 inches by 24 inches. If you would like to make a blanket that is bigger, that would be lovely. The children are aged 0 to 14 so we will need bigger blankets too. Suggested yarn: Stylecraft Special DK, a soft, non-scratchy acrylic yarn. If you would like to make a whole blanket, you could use a different weight and make of acrylic yarn. The essential thing is that it needs to be soft against sensitive and delicate skin and that it can be washed and dried quickly and easily. Or……
  • By making 12″ squares, either knitted or crocheted, using Stylecraft Special DK yarn
  • Colours: Your choice. Although for practical reasons, we advise avoiding white and cream.
  • Things to avoid: Any embellishments that could scratch delicate skin or could be swallowed.If you would like to take part in this project but feel you can’t due to the costs involved, please message us and we’ll try to help with materials.If you would like to contribute towards materials, you can either donate via Paypal here on our Woolly Hugs website or if you do not have Paypal, please message us.

From Word Child Cancer
Your blankets are beautiful and I’m sure they provide great comfort to the children who you make them for. I’m sure the children would love them. Unfortunately
most of the children we see at our projects are not able to survive their cancer due to the poor conditions, lack of knowledge and the high cost of medicine in the worlds poorest countries. In these cases we encourage palliative care for the children through our twinning partners who provide training for local project staff on the importance of this care, especially in pain relief. Psychosocial care is also very important and an area we focus on through supporting parent groups and play therapists. I think your blankets would fit in well with this area.’

 

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Our Little Hug Project

The Little Hug project with The Royal Hospital for Children, Glasgow, the Great North Children’s Hospital in Newcastle and Royal Manchester Hospital for Children

Always remembering Merryn and Aillidh, our inspiration.

Next collection dates to aim for: 

  • July 1st 2019,
  • October 5th 2019
  • then on into 2020!

 

 

Crafting guide for Little Hugs

  1. Minimum Size : 18 inches by 18 inches, for example that is a 3×3 6 inch squares with a small edge.
  2. Colours : Your choice! We’d like to be able to provide a range of Little Hugs suitable for boys and girls. If you’d like to make something specifically for a boy or girl that would also be lovely.
  3. Things to avoid: Buttons, sequins and beads, and embellishments that could scratch the skin or be swallowed. If using appliqué it needs to be firmly stitched on with no hard edges.
  4. Suggested yarn: Stylecraft Special DK, a non scratchy acrylic that is very reasonable £1.60 – £2 a ball. Pure cotton DK
  5. If you would like to make a whole blanket, you could use a different weight yarn, other than those above. The essential thing is that it needs to be soft against sensitive and delicate skin and that it can be machine washed.
  6. Blankets could be made from squares stitched or hooked together. Granny stripes or ripples. They could be made in one piece or in blocks as well as squares.
  7. For fabric quilts and stitched Blankets : Pure cotton and good quality fleece. The cotton can be used from recycled sources. We suggest you wash both separately before sewing to allow for any difference in shrinkage.
  8. Ideas: Traditional style quilts, from simple designs to more complex patterns. Cotton edge fleeces with or without appliqué.Quilt and fleece combination:quilt front, fleece back
  9. If you would like to contribute towards materials, you can either donate via Paypal. If you do not have Paypal, message us and we can let you know of other ways to donate.
  10. If you would like to take part in this project but feel you can’t due to the costs involved, please message us and we will try to help you with materials.

 

How it all began

When we offered a blanket to Greengoose after her beautiful daughter Merryn passed away, she told us how Merryn had been given a small handmade blanket whist she was in hospital. As Greengoose said,

“Merryn’s little square meant and still means so much to us, and so many families end up in hospital early or unexpectedly and have nothing of their own ready or with them, and even if they do, just to know you are thought about means so much.”

We loved this idea and with Merryn’s blanket in mind, and knowing how Expat’s darling daughter Aillidh had so much comfort from a blanket handmade by a group of wonderful friends, we wondered if we could do something more to help.We contacted a few hospitals and very early on developed a lovely relationship with Yorkhill Children’s Hospital in Glasgow where Aillidh was treated. We began making little blankets and quilts for very poorly children in their care, and this soon expanded to helping children at the Great North Children’s Hospital in Newcastle too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Angel Hugs for Bereaved families.

Next collection dates to aim for: 

  • July 1st 2019,
  • October 5th 2019
  • then on into 2020!

 

Our Angel Hug project began with a request from the Royal Brompton hospital in London, to make blankets for babies who very sadly did not survive and to help comfort the families. At an intensely bleak and dark time there is still something very positive that we can do for the baby and their family. Our blankets are always handmade with love and compassion and so are perfect. We can help care for the whole family at this time by making the baby comfortable and snuggled up whilst sending love and a hug to the parents. We send to Glasgow maternity hospitals, offer Angel Hugs to all bereaved families now, and can help support SANDS.

We know that we have many crafters and donors who have first hand experience of such devastating loss. We understand that this is a very difficult request, but if you can join with us, and are able to help, then we would love to have you on board. From speaking to some of you, we know how incredibly important blankets like these are to those who receive them.

Angel Hugs is an ongoing project. Here’s how to join in. Many thanks for your help.

To our lovely crafters

  • Angel Hugs are to be all white and can be knitted or crocheted in any wool suitable for a baby blanket, so 4ply, DK, just as long as it feels soft and cosy. The design is up to you, but it should be kept simple. Angel Hugs can also be sewn using pure cotton and good quality fleece, again white please and in a simple design.
  • Minimum size : 24 inches square, going up to a maximum of approx. 30 inches square.
  • At the bottom of this page is a copy of the SANDS knitted pattern if this helps you. 
  • If making a whole Angel Hug feels too much, but you would still like to support this, we would be pleased to accept simple knitted and crocheted 6 inch squares, which we will hook together. If choosing this option, please use Stylecraft Special DK in white.
  • If you would like to take part in this project but feel you can’t due to the costs involved, please message us and we’ll try to help you with materials.
  • We would be very grateful for support from anyone who would like to donate funds to help with this. You can either donate via Paypal admin@woollyhugs.com but please add a message so we know who to thank and which project it is for. If you don’t have Paypal, please message us as we have other ways that you can donate. We are so grateful to all our donors, without you, these projects could not function.

It is a very sad request we are making, and yet there is something very positive here too, and we know the Blanketeers have big hearts. Sometimes thank you doesn’t seem enough, but thank you once again.

 

The SANDS pattern

Please note this is only a suggestion.

If you are intending to make a blanket with the lace edging, then please knit the basic blanket no larger than a 20 inch square.

Easy Baby Blanket with Lace Option This lace border makes the easy blanket very special but we are happy for you to knit to the basic pattern. (You can use any white wool and needles to suit, to give a soft drape). The basic pattern knit to approx a 24” square. It will always come square.

BASIC BLANKET 200gm of Double Knit Wool and 4mm needles.

Cast on 1 stitch Next row:- Make the one stitch into two stitches.

Next row:- Knit 1, into the next stitch make another, 3 stitches on needle.

Continue to knit, ALWAYS knit the first stitch and into the 2 nd stitch make another. Only increase this way at the BEGINNING of a row. Continue until you have almost come to the end of the 100gm ball. Knit 1 row plain.

Next row:- Knit 1, Knit 2 together, Knit to end of row.

Continue this way, always knit the 1 st stitch then decrease into the next stitch by knitting 2 together until 1 stitch remains.

You should now have a neat square.

LACE EDGING

Using Double Knit and size 8 (UK) needles Cast on 8 stitches

Row 1 (Wrong side) Slip 1, Knit 1, (Yarn fwd knit 2 tog) twice, Yarn fwd, Knit 2 (9 sts)

Rows 2, 3, and 6. Slip 1 Knit to the end.

Row 3. Slip 1, knit 2 (yarn fwd knit 1 tog) twice. Yarn fwd Knit 1 (10 sts)

Row 5. Slip 1, knt 3 (yarn fwd knit 2 tog) twice. Yarn fwd Knit 2 (11 sts)

Row 7. Slip 1, knit 4 (yarn fwd kni t 2 tog) twice. Yarn fwd Knit 2 (12 sts)

Row 8. Slip 1, Knit 11 sts Row 9. Cast off 4 sts. Knit to the end (8 sts)

Row 10. Slip 1, knit to the end (8 sts)

These 10 rows form the pattern.

Continue in pattern until it is long enough to fit all around. Sew o nto the blanket. Thank you so much.

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Welcome to our Chernobyl Project 2017! The Crafting stage

 

For the last three years we have been making warm, comforting Little Hugs for Belarusian teenagers and children visiting the UK for recuperative holidays during the summer with the fabulous charity the Chernobyl Children’s Project and Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline. Photos from the Leeds group can be seen here.. and our finished blankets from last year here

Each year these marvellous charities bring children who live in the most contaminated area near the Chernobyl reactor over to the UK. In summer, when the dust causes radiation levels to rise, it becomes even more important for as many children as possible to leave their contaminated homeland for a few weeks of fresh air and clean food. The rates of childhood cancer are incredibly high the most common cancers being thyroid and leukaemia. Coming to the UK for a four week break increases their immunity against the awful disease when they return home. Often these children are in remission. Sadly though there is a high chance of these children falling ill again. They all suffer living in such difficult conditions and with very little.

Last year 36 children, teens and their interpreters went home with a beautiful Woolly Hug. This year we are keen to help even more groups, so Liverpool, Gloucester/Leeds (same Leeds group but this year spending 2 weeks at each location) Portsmouth and Helpston, Peterborough. .

That is about 70+ blankets!!

With your help we know we can do this

 

Please do join us, here’s how..

 

Crafting Information
* We would like 12″ squares in bright and cheery Stylecraft Special DK colours.
* PLEASE AVOID USING black, bright green, bright pink, browns, greys, citron, sunshine, fiesta, jaffa and any pale pastels, white or cream for practical reasons. This will help squares fit together more easily.
* Make squares in a neutral colour theme, or more specifically for a boy or girl. As much as we don’t like to think of colour as being gender specific, these children may.
* We will be happy to accept 6″ squares if making a 12″ one feels too much.
* Crochet or knitted, 4mm hook or needles. Single colour, mixed colour, simple, complex. No blocking and please sew in pesky ends.
* If needed, we can supply yarn. Let us know if we can send to you.
* Posting of squares please to the South Coast address, PM if you need it.

If you think you’d like to make a whole blanket that is WONDERFUL, but please contact us first.We will be asking for gender neutral blankets which are 48 inches by 60m, but would just like to chat to you first, thank you!

Supporting with funds

If anyone would like to donate funds to support this, we would be so grateful. Please PM us for the donation info. Thank you xx

Can anyone help with extras?

There are a few extras which we will be collecting too alongside squares, items which really help, if you would like to add in any of these we would love to receive them for the children, thank you, bless you.

* Underwear aged 10 plus. New only*
* Adult size socks (one size fits all) new
* Toothbrushes, single packed please
* Hairbrushes
* Toiletries, toothpaste, shower gel, shampoo etc, but not bars of soap please.
* Sanitary Towels
* Plasters
* Vitamins, please check suitable for 10 years+
* Any little luxuries that teens might love, eg hair clips, make up bits, stickers etc.

If you would like to add 50p in when you post squares for ice creams that would be so kind, we will split any money we receive between the groups.

Last posting of squares (plus whole blankets) and any extras is Saturday 8th April

No later please as we have to get on and sort at the end of that following week. Thank you. The rush will be on as the first group, Portsmouth arrive in May.

What a big ask! Good grief!

But the fabulous Woolly Hug crew never fail to amaze, last year was an astonishing team effort, as the photo shows, we know that together we can do this.

On behalf of these children and their families, a huge THANK YOU.
Actually, thank you doesn’t really come close.

Us xxx

* Photo is the collection from last year that went to the Portsmouth group.

 

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Children of Chernobyl Project 2015

Our Children of Chernobyl project has finished for 2015, huge thanks to everyone who took part, it was a huge success. We look forward to next year when we will be helping more children. Thank you.

This was our Crafting info…

As we did last year, these photos from our 2014 project, we would love to make Little Hugs for a group of teenagers coming over to Leeds for a recuperative holiday in the summer with the fabulous charity the Chernobyl Children’s Project.

 

ccplogo-e1317375674800.jpg
Each year these marvellous folk bring children over from Belarus, who live in the most contaminated area near the Chernobyl reactor. In summer, when the dust causes radiation levels to rise, it becomes even more important for as many children as possible to leave their contaminated homeland for a few weeks of fresh air and clean food. The rates of childhood cancer are at 75%; the most common cancers being thyroid and leukaemia. Coming to the UK for a four week break increases their immunity against the awful disease by up to 3 years when they return home.

This year the group in Leeds (organised by an amazing MNer) are bringing twelve children who have had cancer and are now in remission. Sadly though there is a high chance of these children falling ill again. This summer there are four boys and eight girls coming, aged between 11 and 14. They all suffer living in such difficult conditions and with very little. How perfect it would be to make them each a Little Hug.

Here’s how to help with this project…..

We would like 12″ squares in bright and cheery Stylecraft Special DK colours.
PLEASE AVOID bright green, bright pink, browns, greys, citron, sunshine, fiesta and jaffa. This will help squares fit together more easily. Make for a boy, girl or in a non-specific colour theme. We will be happy to accept 6″ squares if making a 12″ one feels too much. We are aiming for blankets that measure at least 48″ squared, or bigger

*Crochet or knitted, 4mm hook or needles. No blocking and please sew in pesky ends.

*If needed, we can supply yarn. Let us know if we can send to you.

* Our last posting is Saturday 23rd May, so we have a chance of getting the blankets ready to go to the children on their arrival in the UK.

* If anyone would like to donate funds to support this, we would be so grateful.
Our paypal is admin@woollyhugs.com . Cheques and cash are very welcome too, just PM for the address.

We know together we can do this – last year was an astonishing team effort.
On behalf of these children, a huge THANK YOU.

Pistey and Knotty X