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The Summer of Woolly Love 2020

Whilst in many ways it feels like it is till about March, it is indeed August and we go on our summer break from Friday 7th August until Monday 14th September, posting to ushers now stopped and it restarts on September 12th. We can’t thank everyone enough for all your hard work, compassion and enthusiasm, we know now that the Woolly Hugs crew are made of stern stuff. This year so far has been utterly exhausting in many ways and we are so truly grateful to the Woolly Hugs crew for keeping the faith and the wool going!

We know that many of you love a summer break project, some of you certainly need to be kept out of mischief 🙂 and if you need yarn to take part, please do message us.

Our first project is for those who enjoy amigurami and this will be making special Giraffes, Gertie Giraffe who is crocheted and Ginny Giraffe who is knitted. They are for very sick children at the Great North Children’s Hospital to celebrate their 10th anniversary.  All crafting info is here, these giraffes are utterly adorable!

Our second project is the Snugs for Christmas, this year we will be supporting Looked after children (in foster care) in the Yorkshire area and are delighted. We welcome whole blankets and squares. Please do check the crafting info carefully. It is all here…..


If you are looking for even more things to do, please also check out our Christmas Cwtch project and Christmas Craft Sale!


We are so truly grateful for absolutely everything you all do. Please do have a restful summer. Stay well, message if you need us, we will be around to help messages etc, but possibly not every day.  Huge love to you and yours

Ginny and Gertie xxxx

Will you join the Spotty Pose this summer and make a Giraffe for the Great North Children’s Hospital?!
The 2020 Palette for our Snug for Christmas project, all help welcome, thank you x







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 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 Spring/Easter Craft Sale and Auction 2020! March 18th – 21st.

Welcome to our Spring/Easter 2020 craft sale and Auction, thank you so much for joining us.  All funds raised will go directly into our own Woolly Hug project with a focus on the Chernobyl project. Every penny raised will go to help others, we hope you will support us, either by crafting, buying or even maybe both! Thank you so so much. x

Crafting info…

We would love our crafters to make small/lightweight Spring/Easter 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. We are open to larger items too obviously, that is just a guide. We will then sell these beauties through the sale.


This cutie will be Item 1! Thank you Vivienne R! xx

Some suggestions for you, but we are very open to others too…

  1. Spring and Easter decorations, bunting, garlands, Easter egg themes etc
  2. Anything sheep wise is always popular!
  3. Small gifts – Little bags, purses, brooches, hair accessories, key rings, gift bags, tags,
  4. Clothing – but lightweight please, we find heavier winter hats, scarves don’t sell well at this time. Please include a bag
  5. Lovely lovely things!
  6. Woolly, fabric, embroidered, beaded, all crafty crafts welcome!!


Last posting for crafts to be Wednesday 4th March please, earlier is beer for us if at all possible. It takes SO long to get ready for a sale!

Please PM for the posting information if you need, but it will be Teddington.

The Event itself…

Our Spring/Easter 2020 craft sale and Auction will take place ONLINE on a Facebook Event page as before, between Wednesday 18th and Saturday21st March.  Finishing on the Saturday as Sunday is Mothers’ Day!

Some items will be up for instant sale on this event wall during this time, others through auction on our Auction Site which will help folk not on Facebook, or those who prefer to take part in this way. Do message us if you have any questions. We are keeping it all crossed that this Sale will be a huge success, with your love and support we have every confidence, huge heartfelt thanks.


The Great Woolly Hugs’ Hugathon Event 3. Leeds. Saturday 29th February 2020

Blankets from our 2019 Chernobyl collection!


The Great Woolly Hugs’ Hugathon Event 3 all takes place on Saturday 29th February 2020! (yes it is a Leap Year!) between 11.00am and 3.30pm, at The Marriott Hotel, Leeds. Full address below. The venue is on the first floor of the hotel, but is fully accessible, with accessible facilities.  The venue is very central and close to Leeds Station. There is city centre parking available nearby.

The Leeds Marriott

During our Hugathon, we will be making squares and joining blankets for our Chernobyl Project, 2020.  We will provide SSDK and equipment for the session, but the palette is shown if you’d like to bring your own. If you are unfamiliar with the project, we have added the info about it below.


We will be running a rather fabulous Lucky Dip and our legendary Gin Raffle and will have yarn and gorgeous bits and pieces for sale from the lovely Alexsis at Seeded (tbc) If you have items for our DeStash table please do bring, remember one person’s destash is another person’s treasure!

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

Tea and coffee will be available to purchase, and there is a bar downstairs! We suggest you bring a packed lunch/snacks/drinks etc. 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!


The Marriott Hotel,
The Trevelyan Suite,
4 Trevelyan Square, Boar Lane. Leeds, LS1 6ET

Our Chernobyl Project

For the last few years we have been making warm, comforting Little Hugs for Belarusian and Ukrainian teenagers and children visiting the UK for recuperative holidays during the summer with the fabulous charity the Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline, Chernobyl Children’s Project and the Friends of Chernobyl’s Children. 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 homeland for a few weeks of fresh air and clean food. The rates of childhood cancer are incredibly high and often visiting 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. It is a lovely thing for us to do to make these children a special cuddly blanket to take home. One child last year said to his interpreter it was like having a big hug from his Gran. Beautiful.

It was an absolutely joy to us to meet some of the children who visited Bristol at their homes in Protosevichi, Belarus one year on and see them with their blankest again. We know how loved and cherished these are by children and families who really have very little. It has renewed our passion for this wonderful project.


The groups we send our blankets to….

Not all groups host every year, but these are the groups we have helped so far, and hope to continue to do so.

  • Aberdeen
  • Ayrshire
  • Bristol
  • Chet and Waveney (Norfolk)
  • Dublin
  • Fife
  • Gloucester/Glossop (children will be splitting their trip between these two)
  • Isle of Wight
  • Mid Glamorgan
  • Mid Suffolk
  • Northamptonshire (Helpston)
  • Portsmouth
  • Shropshire
  • St Ives
  • Swindon
  • Yeovil and Sherborne

We need YOU!!

Here’s how you can help….

Squares. We need twelve inch squares in the Stylecraft Special DK palette as in photo left and listed at the bottom of the page, if 12 is too much, 6 inch squares are fine too, just this yarn in these colours please, inc for embellishments so the blankets come together and are consistent for wash and wear. Knit and crochet equally welcome, beginner or expert, as simple or complex as you like, single colour, multi colour. Design of square up to you, but not too lacy, they need to be hardy. Please use a 4mm hook or needles. If sizing is a challenge with your pattern/tension, we prefer them just under sized rather than over! SO IMPORTANT! Please ensure you knot off every end/colour change very very securely, leave approx a 6 inch tail end and use a needle to sew in. These blankets have to be super sturdy as there is no way back to fix them if squares collapse.

Whole blankets We know some crafters love to make their own whole blankets and this is wonderful! We ask you message us to let us know, so we have some idea of numbers of squares needed. Please use SSDK. Finished blanket size remains the same at 48inches by 60 inches, and please work within the colour palette as this makes it much easier when blankets are gifted. If circumstances change and you can no longer make a whole blanket, LET US KNOW! Thank you so so much x

We will confirm last posting, but please none to be posted until January 2020

The 2020 Palette

  • Aspen
  • Aster
  • Bluebell
  • Boysenberry
  • Bright pink
  • Candy floss
  • Citron
  • Claret
  • Cloud blue
  • Cornish Blue (new this year)
  • Cypress
  • Denim
  • Duck egg
  • Emperor
  • Empire
  • Fondant
  • Fuchsia pink
  • Grape
  • Grass green
  • Kelly green
  • Lapis
  • Lavender
  • Lime
  • Lipstick
  • Lobelia
  • Magenta
  • Meadow
  • Mustard
  • Pale Rose
  • Parchment
  • Petrol
  • Pistachio
  • Plum
  • Pomegranate
  • Raspberry
  • Saffron
  • Sage
  • Sherbert
  • Shrimp
  • Spearmint (new this year)
  • Spice
  • Storm blue
  • Teal
  • Tomato
  • Turquoise
  • Violet

Thank you to lovely Viki for the peg pic – beautiful!

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


Extras for the children. Please no posting of these until after Easter 2020!

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. We have spoken with all groups receiving this year about what they would like and have an adapted list of extras, please note, no shampoo, shower gel this year. We will be adding some of these things to our Amazon wish-list if that helps.

  • New underwear, pants/socks boys and girls, age 8-12
  • Children’s Gloves
  • High factor suncream
  • Toothbrushes, single packed please
  • Toothpaste
  • Hairbrushes
  • Bars of soap, wrapped as singles.
  • Sanitary towels
  • Plasters
  • Insect bite pens
  • Cold sore cream
  • Lip balms
  • Small tubes or tubs of Sudacrem
  • Children’s vitamins
  • Vegetable seeds (tomatoes, peppers, cucumber, beetroot, gherkins)
  • Menthol type cough lozenges
  • Big and strong long life shopping bags
  • Tea and instant coffee, packets please
  • Any little luxuries that 8-12 year olds might love, eg nail varnish, fun stationery, temporary tattoos, little toys with LEDs, mini torches,  , hair clips, make up bits, mini lego kits, fun/brightly coloured sunglasses, stickers  etc.


Donating funds

We are always very grateful to anyone who would like to donate funds for this project. Please do inc your name so we can thank you properly.

Our Paypal is admin@woollyhugs.com

Bank transfer

    • • We are a Cooperative account in the name of Woolly Hugs
    • • Account number: 65579631
    • • Sort code: 089299

Any funds raised from our Spring/Easter sale this year will be used to support this project.

Hugs for Heads 2020

After the success last year, we thought how lovely it would be to send all children a cosy hat to take home with their blanket this year, so introduced Hugs for Heads, if you would like to knit or crochet a cosy child’s hat size age 8 to adult in machine washable yarn, we would love to receive it for them. The pattern is up to you., we do have yarn available, please message us.  Posting any time from January 2020!



Thank you so much everyone!