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.
Ladies, my blanket arrived in the post this morning. I am overwhelmed. It is so beautiful and I can’t believe how much work has gone into it. I shall certainly treasure it.
The timing is perfect too, it’s Fred’s birthday next week, and soon the anniversary of this death. These two things, as well as the end of lockdown, have made the last few weeks tough.
It means so much to me that you have thought of us in the way.
You’re all ruddy lovely, Louise x
Update! Delighted to be able to send this wonderful collection of Bonding Squares in July with our donation of £1150. These squares will help these tiniest babies and we are so grateful to have been able to help. Thank you so much everyone. No more needed at the mo, but we will let you know if this changes!
So this was what we did!
Delighted to be announcing an exciting project to support some of the tiniest babies in the UK with the PaNDR team in the East of England region.
From Wednesday 7th April 2021, a new service will be launched, taking over the existing provision.. It will be called PaNDR ( Paediatric and Neonatal Decision Support and Retrieval Service). This provides a 24 hour emergency transfer service for sick babies across the region. In addition to this the service also carries out elective transfers either to repatriate babies back to their local hospital once their level of care can be stepped down, or to transport babies to other hospitals for elective care such as surgery. The team operates from the Rosie at Cambridge University Hospital.
Where do we come in?
We have been asked for some help making bonding squares for these tinies. What are bonding squares?
Bonding Squares are knitted in matching pairs. One square is placed with a premature baby and another is worn against the mum’s skin, then the squares are swapped round every 12 hours or every time mum visits. They help with the bonding of a premature baby in an incubator and the baby’s mum. Also can help with breastfeeding in time.
Part One – Crafting Info
Please read carefully as only items meeting the criteria will go on to PaNDRs!
This is only a job for knitters, so hookers, now is the time to learn!
Squares to be 6 inches NO BIGGER please.
We are using Stylecraft Special DK only so we know it will be consistent in wash and use.
Going along with their requested panda theme we are using black and white only
No intarsia, embroidery, loops, flaps, or appliqués, any stitch must be dense – garter knit, moss stitch, seed stitch. Any questions please shout.
Squares must be able to lie flat independently
When finished or changing colour, ends mist be incredibly tightly tied off leaving a 6 inch tail, use a needle to sew this in please.
Pairs must match, when you send please tie in pairs with a bit of wool.
Thank you so much for helping!
Posting will be Teddington. Deadline is April 30th for our first collection, after which we will reassess what is needed and the time frame!
To go alongside the bonding squares, with your love and support, we’d like to hold a mini fundraiser in the summer, so plan to hold a Panda Picnic ( this is another name for a Craft Sale!) Whilst the PaNDRs are run by the NHS there are always extras needed, and the group are aiming to give each child a mascot panda to keep. Be great to help them wouldn’t it?!
We are hoping to make and sell small/lightweight panda themed (only panda themed) 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. If you’d like to help, that would be great, but we do understand that folk have already been amazing with the Christmas and Spring sales and this may be a step too far. Please don’t worry if it is for you!
If you’d like to and are able to here are some ideas, we are sticking 100% with the panda theme.
Possible panda craft ideas
Panda pencil cases
Panda bag tags
All things panda!
Posting will be Teddington. Last date for Panda crafts to be April 30th. The Panda Picnic itself (Summer Sale) will be held online between June 10th -12th! Details very soon.
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.
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 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!
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.
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!
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
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..
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