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2020. We did not see a Year like you coming. Our Woolly Review!

There is no denying this year has been extreme, bleak and challenging for everyone and in truth there were times earlier on when we struggled to see Woolly Hugs past families, lockdowns, work, health worries. Everyone has so much on their plate, we worried too that Woolly Hugs as a community and charity would struggle to stay afloat.

But out of this arise the Great Woolly crew, and we are BLOWN AWAY!! Your dedication and enthusiasm despite the pandemic is extraordinary,  unstoppable and a true force of good,  We’ve gained such strength and comfort from you all! We know many crafters have said that working on projects helped them enormously during lockdown and we are so glad of this. The response and enthusiasm to all our projects has been undimmed, the spirit, compassion, generosity, love and care, truly it feels boundless. Crafters and donors what you do is incredibly special and precious, giving woolly warmth comfort to others, especially in this dreadful year. Even Post Office trips in masks didn’t deter the Crew! Honestly we are blessed to know you all!

Just incredible. Saying thank you just doesn’t seem enough, but the most enormous thanks to everyone. There have been an enormous number of positives this year.

 

2020 saw the continuation of our Ongoing projects with new ones added in. From here in the UK to as far away as Syria and Greece children and families feeling love, warmth, support and comfort through our Refugee Project, Little Hugs, Kinship Hugs, Bees Blankets and Candy’s Hugs. Our Little Hug project (blankets for very sick children at The Royal Hospital for Children,  Glasgow, the Great North Children’s Hospital in Newcastle, teens in GOSH and Royal Manchester Hospital for Children) enters its ninth year, still going as strong as ever, folk are amazingly generous, thank you.  Love to all the families and children who have received this year. Thinking too of all the families in Glasgow and the surrounds who have received our Angel Hugs and Teds incredibly bleak and devastating times.   Love in every stitch we say and it really is true. Loved and looked after is our aim.

Our Candy’s Hugs is possibly our biggest and busiest Ongoing project, and however much we wish it were not so, we are glad to help. The aim of the project is to bring warmth and comfort to wonderful women undergoing treatment for cancer. Crafters either make whole blankets or squares, and the resulting blankets are a riot of colour and cheer. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this and love to all of our recipients.
So many Kinship Hugs have gone over the past 12 months, always made and sent with love to families or individuals going through intensely sad or difficult times. These ones made in our Vintage palette this year. Beautiful inside and out. Thank you everyone xx


A Snug for Christmas 2020
was for Looked after children (in the foster care system) in the Yorkshire area So many beautiful blankets, we exceeded our target which was epic, thank you so so much. All going to wonderful looked after children – our aim is to give them something unique and permanent which they can take with them wherever they are. A Snug for Christmas 2021 will definitely go ahead, region to be confirmed, thank you so much.

 

 

Our Christmas Snug collection 2020!

 

 

 

 

Our Chernobyl Project 2020. It was no surprise but still devastating to learn that it would not be possible for the ‘Chernobyl’ children to visit the UK for respite holidays in 2020, that is all except for one group who visited Portsmouth and had planned all along to come in March. It was an absolute joy, even more so now looking back to meet them and give them their blankets. This photo now feels such a celebration, even more so!

The Fabulous Four! Chernobyl visitors in Portsmouth 2020.

 

 

 

 

Our target for 2020 had been 175 Chernob blankets, most of which are in secure storage waiting for it to be possible to get to the children. Sadly 2021 is up in the air at the moment, understandably, these children are already more vulnerable health wise. It just may not be possible to bring them over, or for Link organisers to even get over there. We have had to make the decision to put our Chernobyl 2021 project on ice. It is sad for sure but needs to be. We will use this year’s blankets first as soon as poss, and hopefully later in the year we will have a better idea. The project will be back, we are just not sure when. We had plans too to deliver Billie’s Blankets to the Children’s Cancer Hospital in Minsk this winter, but this too is on hold. It will happen.

 

Hugathons 2020!! We managed one out of three planned Hugathons, losing Gloucester and Portsmouth to Covid but we DID get to Leeds and had a fabulous day, meeting many more crafters, lots of fun and laughter. Thank you to everyone who came. We look forward to safer times and many more Hugathons! There is one in Edinburgh booked in for early March, it is sadly extremely unlikely to take place though 🙁

 

Tortie meets his fans at the Leeds Hugathon!

 

Having made the decision that our Refugee Project would focus on blankets and blanket squares we were so pleased to be able to help with far more in the rallying call from Choose Love in September, prompted by the fire that had been raging in the Moria refugee camp in Greece. Phase one saw an urgent request for soap, toothpaste, shampoo, shower gel, deodorant and nappies and the response we got from you was incredible. Such an outpouring of love, thank you! Phase two saw us collecting refugee project blankets and hats, again in such a short turn around the response was truly astonishing. Thank you!

We were absolutely delighted when Choose Love contacted us to make some special blankets to be used in social media to promote their work and ultimately to be sold by auction to raise much needed funds.  The Square Squad came up trumps in RECORD BREAKING time and we can’t thank them enough. Blankets were made and delivered just before Christmas, and absolutely wonderful thing to be able to do.

 

 

 

 

We were delighted to be approached by the Great North Children’s Hospital in Newcastle to help with their 10th anniversary celebrations. Their logo is a gorgeous giraffe and they asked for as many cuddly giraffes as possible to give to the very ill young patients in their care. Due to Covid their physical party celebrations has sadly been cancelled, such a shame, but the giraffes were very much wanted! We loved doing this! Thank you so much to everyone!
One very happy giraffe recipient! All love to her and her family xxx

Again all hail the incredible Construction Crew, it hasn’t been such a busy year due to Covid, but we have still put calls out for help and folk literally fall over themselves, it is amazing! Thank you! Thanks too to the wonderful Square Squad who are utterly fabulous at quickly and beautifully making squares for special Little Hugs/Kinships etc. We put up our request and we are never surprised at the SPEED of the replies! Thank you everyone. If anyone would like more info about either group, just shout, we have separate Facebook groups so not to get lost on the main Page!

And two wonderful craft sales! Both held during lockdowns, we didn’t anticipate that, but both hugely successful, we are so grateful to all crafters and buyers alike. We are always stunned by the talent in our ranks, we know the woolly side but these sales get us to see another side! Amazing

This year, in our Christmas Sale, with your love and support  we were delighted to get behind the drug education charity the Daniel Spargo-Mabbs Foundation, and sent a third of all profits to them, using two thirds to support our own projects and keep them running, ambitious and inclusive. The Christmas Sale was the biggest by a very long way raising over £6000! Thank you again everyone xxx

 

Christmas Cwtches 2020. This fabulous photo ‘LOVE’ shows the wonderful collection of Christmas Cwtches sent recently to the Great North Children’s Hospital in Newcastle. All absolutely stunning, woolly and fabric, thank you so much everyone, we know these have been loved by families going through incredibly difficult times.. Must be even harder this year, an enormous thanks to all who contributed, our first one arrived in July! Awesome.

 

 

 

 

We’ve worked hard all year supporting bereaved Mumsnet families, it is an honour to do so, and we hope that through our love they will feel some comfort. Thank you so much to all crafters and donors alike, what you do is amazing.We say our Woolly Hugs are a tribute and a tangible sign of a life filled with love. We know the recipient families love them. The photo albums are all to be found here on our website under Mumsnet Blankets. In 2020 we crafted and sent to..

The Woolly Hug for Crazyladee
The Woolly Hugs for TQ’s beautiful daughters
The Woolly Hug for the family of the wonderful Whatwouldleslieknopedo (Chrissie)
The Woolly Hug for for FiveGoMadInDorset and her family

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Woolly Hug for Willowkins
The Woolly Hug for shefliesonherownwings
The Woolly Hug for Twittlebee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the absolute highlights for this year has been the advent of our social Facebook page, born from adversity, we wanted to have a safe, happy, supportive and chatty space for our folk at the start of the first lockdown. We couldn’t be happier with how it has worked. It’s a fabulous place to be, all we hoped for and more! Thank you so much to our seven wonderful admins without whom it wouldn’t be!  It’s called the Woolly Pack, and if you’d like to join, please message us.

So we look forward to 2021 with hope and reassurance that the Woolly Hugs community are by our side.

Please keep safe and well in these difficult times.

Sending the most enormous love from us both, G&G xxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Snug for Christmas. Phase 2 of our Snug project for looked after children.

Having met with Tracy and the wonderful team at the Children’s Family Trust today to pass on our first collection of blankets to the ‘South Central’  group  and hearing how much our Snugs will mean to their looked after children, we are keen to launch phase two – a Snug for Christmas. We shall need your help to achieve this and have yarn if you need, please message.

Snugs for Christmas will go to children in the Midlands region, so throughout Birmingham, Solihull, Wolverhampton, Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Gloucestershire, Staffordshire and Warwickshire. Yet again we come with a very big ask!

 We are looking for 12 or 6 inch squares in the Snug palette or even whole blankets if this is something you would like to make. 

 

Collection dates – our next for squares and whole blankets, is Monday 22nd October 2018. 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Crafting Info

  • 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.
  • 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.

 

The colours are a twist on a rainbow theme…

  • Aspen
  • Aster
    Bluebell
    Cloud Blue
    Cypress
    Duck egg
    Lapis
    Lavender
    Lincoln
    Lipstick
    Lobelia
    Magent
    Meadow
    Pistachio
    Plum
    Pomegranate
    Saffron
    Sage
    Sherbert
    Spice
    Storm Blue
    Tomato
    Violet

 

Please message us if you need the postal address, but it will be the South Coast address.

 

 

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Chernobyl project 2018!

We are delighted to be launching our Chernobyl Project 2018!

For the last four 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.

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.

We have spoken to all the groups we sent to last year, some are still confirming their funding etc and not all host every year, but already confirmed are…

  • Isle of Wight
  • Peterborough/Helpston
  • Bristol
  • And we are chuffed to be introducing the Ayrshire, Fife and Aberdeen groups this year too!

There are other groups we can contact, but will just wait to hear from last year first. So this year we look like we are aiming for approx 115 blankets but this may change. It is a good place to start with!

The last posting date for squares and blankets made by individuals for our Chernobyl 2018 project will be  April 16th, to the Teddington address, message if you need it! 

 Please do join us, here’s how..

  • Yarn is Stylecraft Special DK – ONLY 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.
  • Squares to be single colour, multi colour, textured, whatever you like, they will be wonderful, thank you.
  • If you’d like to make a whole blanket, please use these colours too, makes thing easier at the giving stage! Whole blankets need to be 48 inches by 60 inches with some kind of border please.
  • Supporting with funds
    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 are grateful for every single penny.

The Palette

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

Can anyone help with extras? LAST POSTING FOR EXTRAS IS MAY 26th!

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. xx

* Underwear aged 10 plus. New only*
* Adult size socks (one size fits all) new only

* Gloves
* Toothbrushes, single packed please
* Hairbrushes
* Toiletries, toothpaste, shower gel, shampoo etc, but not bars of soap please. These are obvs very heavy, but you can if you prefer send funds and we can get locally.
* Sanitary Towels
* Plasters, first aid bits
* Vitamins, please check suitable for 10 years+
* Any little luxuries that pre/teens might love, eg nail varnish, lip balms, 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.

 

Hugs for Heads – we have enough of these thank you!!

After the success of Fife 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 child’s hat size age 8 to adult (most are teens) 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.  Last posting the same as squares.

What a big ask! Good grief!
But the fabulous Woolly Hug crew never fail to amaze,  last year was an astonishing team effort, 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. xxx

 

 

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Snugs for Looked After Children and Young People 2022

LAST POSTING FOR 2022, BLANKETS AND SQUARES IS OCTOBER 17th 2022.

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.

So far a Snug for Christmas has supported the Southern (Portsmouth area) Midlands, NE and Yorkshire regions. Its a wonderful project to work on!

2021 blankets have gone to East Midlands, SE London and Middlesborough!

Crafting Info

  • 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.
  • 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.

 

The colours are a twist on a rainbow theme…

  • Aspen
  • Aster
    Bluebell
    Cloud Blue
    Cypress
    Duck egg
    Lapis
    Lavender
    Lincoln
    Lipstick
    Lobelia
    Magent
    Meadow
    Pistachio
    Plum
    Pomegranate
    Saffron
    Sage
    Sherbert
    Spice
    Storm Blue
    Tomato
    Violet

Photos show previous collections!

 

 

 

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The Blanket for diege

Thank you thank you thank you. The blanket has arrived and it is so beautiful. The colours and detail are amazing, I am truly touched. I will bring out and show the children on June 10th which is the anniversary of Jonathan’s death and I am sure they will take comfort from looking at the designs and recalling the memories that they bring. I am overwhelmed by the love and care that people have shown; we will treasure it forever xxx

Our original thread is here…