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The Impact of Coronavirus. Tuesday 24th March 2020

We hope that you and your loved ones are safe and well. This is not an easy time for any of us and we are all having to adjust to a new normal/ different way of living. The situation regarding coronavirus is rapidly changing, our last message was only eight days ago but it feels a life time.

The main priority for us is without question the health and safety of our crafters and so have decided to suspend posting to us to stop for the foreseeable, we will review this after three weeks. Our projects are continuing, but we can wait.  At the mo as well we can’t access our storage and fear being overwhelmed which with the lockdown and all children at home would be very difficult! A lot of woolly treasure is safely here already and we will work our way through, but it may take significantly longer. Thank you for your understanding.

All our ongoing projects continue, this is so important, we can easily get yarn to those who need. All projects need help! We know that as many of you are confined to your homes you may be looking for something practical to get on with.  Maybe have a look?

Our Spring Craft Sale is going to take place, it starts tomorrow at noon. Join the Facebook event page and check out the parallel Auction site. Gorgeous crafts to be had and we can send them wherever, so if you are going to be missing someone this Easter, we could send from you to them. Do check it out, we shall need more support than ecevr! Thank you so much xxx

Do keep messaging us if we can help you, but please do bear with, only two of us here and we will do the best we can.


So really it remains to say, keep safe, keep crafting.

With all our best wishes,

G&G x



Last week’s message…


The Impact of Coronavirus. Monday 16th March 2020

The Blanket for the family of Oldsilver

Just devastating. Like many we just couldn’t take it in that Oldsilver had died so suddenly and unexpectedly from a heart attack in April. Utterly shocking. Words really do fail, we are just so very sorry life has been so cruel to her and truly devastating for her DH, young son, family and friends. She was a total legend here on Mumsnet, posting on many boards, but her true love was with the Nobdies, and they too will miss her terribly.

Our original thread is here….

The Blanket for the family of WhatWouldLeslieKnopeDo (Chrissie to many)

WhatWouldLeslieKnopeDo (Chrissie) touched the lives of so many, ours included, and it is incredibly sad to think she is gone. Leslie was an extraordinary generous, compassionate soul and we were lucky to know her, she was inspirational and gave unstinting support to many people on this site and elsewhere too. She was just 28 when she died, only 21 when she was diagnosed with a genetic colon cancer. Life has been very cruel, absolutely tragic.

Leslie was an absolute rock to those folk on the Mumsnet cancer support threads, she organised them for years, always making time for others even when she was so ill herself, many handholds offered, gently encouraging, wise beyond her years, and the threads that still run are a legacy, a truly loving, giving, supportive safe place.

She was an absolute stalwart on the Woolly Hug threads, always ready to join in, ready to help someone else. She and her parents have made so many gorgeous things over the years, super snuggly scarves and mittens for refugees, Billie’s Blankets for children with cancer. Extraordinary. So many children and adults feeling their love and support, both at home in the UK and much further afield.

There aren’t enough words to explain how highly we thought of her, how much she was loved on here. We can all learn from her, anyone who came into contact with her did.


So glad we could make this for her folks, thank you so much everyone.  Our original thread is here…



The Impact of Coronavirus. Monday 16th March 2020

Fast changing times at the moment due to the coronavirus and its impact, so we thought we should post and let everyone know where we are at.

All our ongoing projects continue, this is so important, we can easily get yarn to those who need. All projects need help!

Our wonderful Chernobyl project will undoubtably feel the greatest impact, see the message from Dennis their CEO below. Visits are being cancelled and postponed and the situation regarding the later summer visits is very up in the air. We do though know how much the children and families love our blankets and the tradition of them and so are determined to keep making and get blankets to them, either through their rescheduled visits or out to them. See Cecilia’s message from the Helpston group below. Can’t bear to think how disappointed this year’s cohort will be 🙁  So let’s keep going, so that we are ready as soon as they are. We are lucky as have recently acquired storage for a very low rate so aren’t worried about that part.


In terms of posting to us. the next deadline is for Chernobs and it is April 12th. We are very happy for folk to keep posting, but please no one go out of their way or make a special trip and we will see where we are in April.


We are setting up an extra Woolly Hugs Facebook page for anyone who would like to join. We see this as being a chatty/social page but also one where if anyone is stuck for help they can post and we can endeavour to find a local Woolly Hugger who can help with groceries etc. We also know we have quite a few wonderful crafters in the 70+ bracket and are keen to be able to help, not only those beauties but anyone who finds themselves in isolation.. Will add a link very soon! the Torties are keen to run this page and we are going to have to let them down gently. It would be CHAOS!


Our Spring Craft Sale is delayed a week. We had gone very early with this because of the (now cancelled) Gloucester Hugathon and have struggled to be ready in time! We have no excuses really it has just totally snuck up on us! It will now run between Wednesday 25th and Sunday 29th March. We’d love your support in our Craft Sale, all funds are due to go into our Chernobyl project and we shall need them more than ever if we are to deliver blankets further afield!


Sending so much love to everyone at this uncertain time, but please do keep crafting! THANK YOU SO MUCH.


G&G xxxxx


We have deliberately not been posting on Facebook regarding the Coronavirus situation as we did not want to add to the growing amount of misinformation and panic being spread. We would urge our friends and supporters not to subscribe to this regarding the visits of the Chernobyl children. The following is the most up to date information, anything else can only be conjecture:
The Belarusian authorities have suspended the visits of all groups of children to the UK for the Spring holiday period. This currently only applies to group travel and not private individuals . As of yet we have no further confirmation regarding future visits. Regrettably some decisions have to be made well ahead of the scheduled visit dates due to the visa application process. Obviously we must take a sensible and responsible approach and are monitoring the situation on a daily basis. We must be considerate of both our hosts and supporters and the children and their families. We are as disappointed as you will be. We hope you will all remain positive and look to a time when things will return to normal and we are able to continue our work which remains as important as ever in these difficult times.
We wish you all the very best and hope you keep well.
Dennis & The Board of Trustees




As I expect you have already realised, very sadly our Chernobyl Children are not visiting this summer. We still have some hope for a shorter visit this autumn. We also have plans to get aid out to the families, so we will still be taking blankets and teddies once the emergency situation is over. Such a shame for the children and I know that the mothers will be worrying about how to cope without the warm clothing, vitamins, toothpaste etc that they always receive each year.

Thank you so much for all the wonderful work that you do. The blankets and teddies are really loved by the children and it is always wonderful to see your cheerful blankets on the beds of the children! Please give my best wishes to your lovely ladies and gentlemen. Things will soon be back to normal and our work will be underway again.

Thank you

Cecilia and Helpston Chernobyl

The Great Woolly Hugs’ Hugathon 5 – Portsmouth, Sunday 11th October 2020.

Our Venue

TICKETS On Sale From Friday 13th March! Limited number, don’t miss out! Link to buy tickets is here…..

It all takes place on Sunday 11th October 2019, between 11.00am and 3.30pm, at the stunning Square Tower in Old Portsmouth which is right on the sea front. The venue has ramped access and suitable bathroom facilities and is all on the ground floor level.

During our Hugathon, we will be making squares for our Snug project. We will provide SSDK and equipment for the session, but you may like to bring your on hooks, needles etc.

Tortie ‘helping’ with the Gin Raffle

We will be running a rather fabulous Lucky Dip and Gin Raffle. Ooooo and there’s a new thing called Yarn Bingo! Oooo and we will have yarn and gorgeous bits and pieces for sale from the very lovely Alexsis at Seeded.

The Square Tower has the most wonderful cafe for cake and bar, although we promise not to hit the gin until at least midday! We suggest you bring a packed lunch, snacks, drinks. They will very happily refill water bottles.

Do join us, we’d love to meet you or see you again. And if you are worried about not knowing anyone, let us know and we can get you seated and chatting with other lovelies!

If they behave the Torties will be coming!

Tickets cost £12. Tickets will include a special Event Bag and mystery goodies!

Maximum of four tickets per person.

Header photo is of our fabulous Snug collection for the NE of England! To find out more about this project, see here…

Photos below from 2019’s Portsmouth Event!