We were delighted when the staff at the Great North Children’s Hospital in Newcastle contacted us a couple of years ago and asked for help. They asked if it were possible to make some very special Little Hugs to use in the run up to Christmas for very sick children inhospital over this period. The pictures here are from our 2020 project, and we are delighted they would like us to make for the children again. This project will again help children and their families at very difficult times.
For the Woollies…
We are looking for six and twelve inch squares in the SSDK colours below. Christmas designs/themes/embellishments warmly welcomed. Fill your boots! Just this yarn in these colours please so we can match up squares and the blankets will be consistent for wash and wear.
The Christmas Cwtch palette (all SSDK yarn)
For the Sewing Folk…
Christmas cwtches could also be made in these sort of colours in cotton Christmassy prints, lightweight quilts. These must be machine washable and tumble dry possible only please.
If making a whole cotton quilt or blanket..
Size wise we are aiming to send a mix of sizes from baby sized (24 inch squares) up to single bed sized.
Please no posting before September 13th, then whole blankets/quilts and separate squares please to Teddington.
Martin’s blanket arrived yesterday and I wanted to say a massive thank you to all who contributed.
It would have been his 21st birthday this week, so emotions have been running high.
I was so overcome that I couldn’t even open the parcel yesterday!
This morning I did open it – and then could hardly see it for tears.
We hear so much negativity about the internet, yet here we have a group of complete strangers who have done something so overwhelmingly kind that I am blown away by you all.
So this is to tell you how much we love and appreciate your thoughtfulness.
The blanket is so beautiful that I can’t stop looking at it, drinking in all the hours of time and effort that have gone into it.
It might well be the best gift I have ever received.
My own Grannie was good at knitting and tried to pass on her skills to me. The only item I ever made was a dolls scarf and it was so tight it was like a piece of thick cardboard. I never got passed that, but I can certainly appreciate all the time and skill and love that has gone into making this fabulous tribute to my much loved son.
All 99 squares are incredible. I can’t believe the skills that you have and please accept my deepest gratitude for this wonderful, woolly hug.
If I was a bit more technically minded I would attach a photo of it, stretched out across our double bed, it’s new home.
I know you have others to knit for and as I can’t help in a practical way, I would like to contribute some money for wool so that other bereaved families can receive a personal tribute to their loved ones too.
Thank you so, so much. I hope these inadequate words go some way to letting you all know what a treasured possession you have given us xx
Norma had been a Mumsnet regular over the years across the boards, with a real zest for politics, feminism and strong opinions about Boris Johnson, as anyone at the MN 15th birthday party will tell you. Remembering THE Heckle which was epic. Love her for it. She also ran the Christmas appeal which would have been an astonishing amount of work. She cared enough for others to make it happen. Norma genuinely touched the lives of so many here on Mumsnet, ours included. Such a compassionate beautiful soul.
It was desperately shocking to hear of her death in August. She had been very ill and in the end her body couldn’t cope any more. Devastating for her husband and their wonderful children, their families and friends. They will miss her terribly.
Norma really wasn’t one to burden others with her worries, but was a very kind and selfless friend. So supportive of others. Generous to a fault in many ways, and very bloody entertaining. We can all learn from her.
The return of this very popular project which is connected to our Chernobyl project. and we couldn’t be happier. Please message us BEFORE STARTING so we can allocate you a child and their unique admin number. Even if you took part last year, please do read the instructions, they are absolutely vital to making this work. Last posting will be Monday 20th September which will be here before we know it. We need to get them to Elizabeth by early October.
We have fifty stockings to fulfil and are hoping that with your love and support we can get all 50 filled. Please message us and we will give you the information for your recipient. If we don’t have it yet, we will ask you to wait until we can get back to you. We hope this won’t be too long. We have already got half of them. Once all 50 recipients are allocated we will see if we can get any more and will take a waiting list. We will need to ask for a donation of £3 per stocking to help transport them over. In previous years they have been taken back when the children visited the UK and of course that isn’t happening this year.
The age range we have seen so far is 4 – 16 years, boys and girls and we’d like to allocate these
Elizabeth Parker (Mid Suffolk Chernobyl Children’s Life line link and Senior Trustee of the Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline) couriers the stockings over and then deliver in person around the time of Orthodox Christmas. These stockings go to very sick children in hospitals and also to the schools and homes of incredibly disadvantaged children. Their aim is to give the children a real Christmas present and those they give to have most likely never received a Christmas present before. It is very important to note this is absolutely not one of those shoe box appeals, so these stockings do not include functional toothpaste/brush type items, and there are no strings attached. It is just a wonderful thing to be able to do for some of the most disavanted and sick children.
Here’s how to help…
Whether it is home made or shop bought, stockings need to be as close to 18cm by 40cm (approx 7” x 16) which seems to be average standard size of shop bought ones.
The stockings can contain anything that would be considered a Christmas present but for this project, no utility items such as toothbrushes etc.
No liquids, toy guns, or other toy weapons. No sweets. They take sweets and give them out at the time.
VERY IMPORTANT – Completed stockings ( inc the stocking itself) MUST weigh no more than 650 grams please and need to be able to lie as flat as possible for travelling purposes.
Reiterating the 650g weight limit!
The gifts inside the stockings must not be wrapped in Christmas paper as this makes it easier if they are stopped at customs.
When you send please pop your filled stockings in a plastic carrier bag with a list of the contents jotted down on a bit of paper and the weight in grammes. Include your child’s allocated number, this is vital.
Please enclose your £3 transportation donation in your parcel, but not in the stocking! Cash is fine, we can gather it up and pay it all in.
Our Paypal address is email@example.com.(Please note we have TWO Ls in woolly – folk get caught every time!) or We are a Cooperative business account in the name of Woolly Hugs •Account number: 65579631 •Sort code: 089299
What to put in to a stocking…
These are only suggestions and the age range we are covering is huge, so relevant to your child please.
A small soft toy
Small ornaments (all children love dogs and cats)
A “Barbie” or Action Man type Doll
lip balm, flavoured chapsticks
Hair slides, bobble, elastics etc for girls, colourful, sparkly items are really liked.
Girls love all things pink and “blingy” !
Wrist bands for boys
Fridge Magnets are a big favourite
Small logic puzzles, i.e. the ones we use to get where you had to roll a few small balls around and get
them in the right place.
Bracelets and necklaces for girls
Small cars or other models
Small windup toys
Marbles – quite heavy but a few would be ok and the children really love them
Stickers – all the children seem to collect these
Funny socks and slipper socks are liked very much, particularly if they are “Character “ones.
Warm tights for girls – they like bright colours
Small notebook – pretty ones for girls
Pens, pencils – biros should be blue not black please
Small coin purses
Any toys with LED lights – particularly the stretchy/squishy ones
Folding shopping bags (older girls)
For the older age groups
Socks, lacy trainer liners v popular
Wristbands/ fashion straps (boys and girls)
Pens and Pencil Sets (adult type)
Pencil case – Rubber and metal pencil sharpner
Folding rulers (very useful and fits in the pencil case)
Absolutely delighted to be starting this project again, we know how much it means to the wonderful children and the fabulous Children’s Family Trust. the destination for the 2021 will be confirmed after the summer break. Our previous phases have been South Central, Midlands, Yorkshire and the NE of England.
About the project
We are aiming to make blankets for children (0-16years) who are being looked after within the Children’s Family Trust. The Children’s Family Trust work with these children aiming to give them stability and security through to adulthood, helping them achieve their full potential, with the ideal being fostered within a family for life. We would like to make these children something permanent, that they can take with them wherever they are.
Yarn is Stylecraft Special DK – just this please, inc for any embellishments.
Squares to be 12 inch ideally, or 6 inch if that is too much.
Knit and crochet equally welcome. Beginner or more experienced crafters also equally welcomed.
Please use a 4mm hook or needles.
No blocking please, and please ensure you are knotting off very thoroughly when colour changing or finishing, leave a 6cm end and use a needle to sew it in.
We are asking folk to avoid using a magic ring (crochet) to start as find that these don’t seem to always stand up to the pressures of wash and wear.
Please read the list of colours in our palette carefully, the list is below.
Squares to be single colour, multi colour, textured, whatever you like, they will be wonderful, thank you.Just avoid anything too lacy please.
It is VITAL all ends are sewn in firmly. Knot off firmlyly then sew at least 6 inches of yarn in PLEASE. These blankets need to last.
If you’d like to make a whole blanket, please use these colours too, makes thing easier at the giving stage! Whole blankets to be 48 by 60 inches, we would like them all to be single bed size no matter what age the child.
We are looking to make 30 blankets minimum, but children come and go into care so any more would be obviously be wonderful!
The colours are a twist on a rainbow theme…
French navy (new for 2020)
Proper Purple (new for 2020)
Thank you so so much. Posting please after September 13th. Whole blankets to Teddington, squares to Southsea.