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Knitting for UK charities
Put your knitting obsession to good use!
I love to knit, and I love to knit for a good cause (my family will only accept so many toilet roll covers). I'm based in the UK, and have hunted down UK and international charity projects you can knit for who have UK postal addresses (so the postage is affordable). Some are year-round, and some are annual events.
So, cast on and knit an act of kindness!
Operation Christmas Child 2014 - Knit a friend for a needy child
Every autumn, Operation Christmas Child asks knitters to make mittens, a scarf or a beanie hat or even a hand puppet to put a smile on a child's face. Simply put your knitted gifts along with other gifts in a shoe box and take it to your local OCC Drop Off point, where boxes will be accepted from 1-18 November 2014.
Find out the location of your nearest (UK) Drop Off point by checking the OCC website.
You can use their specially made patterns for hand puppets. The clowns were so popular last winter that they hope to have many more knitted puppets in shoe boxes this year. Playing with a glove puppet has been found to be very therapeutic for a child suffering from trauma or isolation - the puppet becomes a little friend to talk to.
The Big Knit 2014, for Age UK - Knit tiny hats for smoothie bottles and help older people in need
Every year, Innocent Smoothies launch 'The Big Knit', asking knitters to knit tiny bobble hats for their smoothie bottles. A basic pattern, which you can customise, is available from the Big Knit website. The deadline for receiving your hats at Big Knit HQ is 12th December 2014.
Each behatted bottle sold will raise 25p for Age UK, who support older people during the chilly winter months.
You can read about how money raised in 2008 reached older people in Devon here.
Christmas Jumper Day 2014 for Save The Children
Christmas Jumper Day 2014 is on 12th December, and this year Save The Children want you to get your creative juices flowing and make your own woolly and wonderful jumper-themed creations.
Burundi Bears: Knit For Bricks - Bears Who Build Schools!
Knit Burundi Bears and help provide bricks to build schools in Burundi. People throughout the UK are knitting Burundi Bears and exchanging them with family, friends, neighbours and at coffee mornings, etc. for a minimum donation of £1.
100% of each Â£1 raised by you will be used to buy 4 bricks and use them in the construction of a new school by UK charity FacilitAid.
Contact the FacilitAid office to obtain the knitting pattern, and details of the official label which must be attached to your bears before you pass them on, to comply with Trading Standards regulations. These labels are available, for a donation of Â£1 each, from the FacilitAid office.
Teddies for Tragedies - Knit a simple teddy bear for a child who has no toys
Knit a bear for a child who needs comfort or something to love. Contact Teddies for Tragedies and they will tell you where your bear is needed. Each bear is knitted to the same basic pattern so that no bear is 'better' than any other - as the website says:
"Don't deviate from the pattern, all teddies are different but none should be superior (no skirts or hats, stripes are OK in moderation, especially if you're using up duller colours). Think of it this way - we all want our teddy to be the best but do we want the child who doesn't get our teddy to be disappointed?"
You'll also need to sew up a simple drawstring bag for the bear to live in - again, follow the instructions on the Teddies for Tragedies website.
Freedom from Fistula - Knit gifts for new mums in Sierra Leone
In Sierra Leone, the Freedom from Fistula Foundation manages 'The Aberdeen Women's Centre'. This centre currently provides free surgeries to women injured in childbirth, runs a children's clinic, and now has a maternity clinic. The goal of the new maternity clinic is to provide mothers in Sierra Leone with quality care during childbirth which will have the double benefit of reducing the number of childbirth injuries, as well as helping to reach the worldwide Millennium Development Goal #5 which aims to reduce maternal mortality across the developing world.
The Aberdeen Women's Centre now has the capacity to: deliver 1,500 babies each year in the maternity clinic; treat up to 500 women each year in the fistula clinic; and treat more than 6,000 children each year in the outpatient clinic. The Freedom From Fistula Foundation has pledged to give each new baby a cardigan, jumper or blanket as a gift before they leave the hospital. They're extremely grateful for all donations in all colours* and sizes!
Completed garments can be sent to:
Freedom from Fistula Foundation
1 Whitefriars Crescent
Perth PH2 0PA
* Please avoid white, as it is associated with mourning in many African cultures.
Get knitting to support Action for M.E.
Do you love to knit? Action for M.E. will be starting to host stalls near their Bristol office and would love to be able to sell knitted crafts. If you have a passion for knitting and would like to donate some of your finished products please send them to:
Action for M.E.
Third Floor, Canningford House,
38 Victoria Street,
Bristol, BS1 6BY
Please also include your name, address and telephone number, as every few months one of our lucky knitters will win an 'Action for M.E'. t-shirt.
Click here for more information about how you can get involved
Percy Pigeon Anti-Bullying Campaign - Knit to encourage a bullied child
Anita Hunt's children's novel Matty-boy & The Secret Pigeon Racket aims to encourage children to tell a trusted adult if they are affected by bullying. Talented toy designer, Alan Dart, has designed a knitting pattern of Percy, from the lovely illustration by Sarah Miskelly.
Please consider making a donation to the fundraising campaign when you download the pattern; all donations will make a difference! A donation of Â£3.00 makes a difference to 30 young people who are affected by bullying.
Knitting for Oxfam - Work wonders with your knitting needles
If you're a dab hand with a set of needles, you could create a better future for people in poverty. Jumpers, cardies and scarves can all be sold in Oxfam's High Street shops. Your local shop manager will be able to tell you what they can sell and roughly how much money they'll be able to make.
And then there are blankets. 6ft by 4ft Oxfam blankets go down a storm at music festivals, selling for anything up to £35. That's enough to provide clean water for 60 people in an emergency.
For loads more info and free patterns you can use, visit the Knitting for Oxfam webpage.
Knit A Tit! Woolly training aids for expectant mums - Knit boobs to help teach women to breastfeed
Hospitals and community midwives use model breasts to show new mothers how to breastfeed and how to express milk if necessary, but they cost £35 each, and knitted versions work just as well!
Contact your local hospital's infant feeding co-ordinator to find out if they would welcome donations, then use this knitting pattern, from the Lactation Consultants of Great Britain (pdf) to knit breasts in any skin shade.
Made4Aid (for Medecins sans Frontieres) - Handmade items being sold to save lives
made4aid is a non-profit-making organisation, raising money for aid and relief work, through the generosity of creative people around the world. Handmade art or craft items - or materials - can be donated to made4aid and will be sold online to raise money for aid. All proceeds go to the relief work of MÃ©decins sans FrontiÃ¨res (aka Doctors without Borders). You can also help by buying from Made4Aid's Etsy shop.
Sunshine International Blankets of Love - Love one square at a time
SIBOL members make themed blankets throughout the year which are donated to elderly people living in nursing homes. For details, visit http://sunshineinternationalblanketsoflove.blogspot.com
Knit For Peace
Knit for Peace is an initiative of the Charities Advisory Trust that encourages women (+men) from different, often historically hostile communities to come together informally to knit (or sew or crochet). With a shared common goal, differences in race, religion or caste are irrelevant, and individuals come together to knit peacefully.
They need warm knitted jumpers, hats, scarves, blankets and baby clothes for the children of Afghanistan, and are also grateful for knitting wool and needles (postal address here).
"When knitters send us lovingly hand knitted clothes for children we always try to make sure that we pass them on where we are sure that they will reach the intended recipients and that they will do maximum good. Susie Jenner, one of our staff members recently went on a visit to Sierra Leone and took a bag full of clothes with her." Find out more her trip on the Knit for Peace blog.
Comfort for those who have lost a baby - Knit a blanket or baby clothes for a premature child or one lost during pregnancy or after birth
Bonnie Babies sends premature baby clothes, blankets and burial outfits to UK Special Baby Care units, hospices, SANDS (the UK neonatal death charity), and to parents needing support. Knitting, crocket and sewing patterns are available on their website. They also require donations of white DK yarn, buttons, ribbons and lace.
Algerian Action - Knit clothes and toys for kids in need in Algeria
Knit Toys For Kids With Cancer
Children's Cancer Recovery Project sends toys & books to thousands of children in hospital and hospices three times a year. To help keep this going, we need lots of toys, which is where you in! We would love you to send us knitted hand & finger puppets. They are reasonably simple to do, and perfect for the children because they can be used in role play and by play therapists as part of the kids' treatment.
If you are into fashion, and able to design & knit a pattern for headbands which teenage girls who are losing their hair are likely to wear, we would very much appreciate that too. Plus any fun knitted fashion dolls too, of course!
UK Military and Veterans Support group on Ravelry - Supporting the UK's Armed Forces
The UK Military and Veterans Support group on Ravelry.com aims to promote and support the UK's military charities as well as backing up UK personnel wherever they are. Ideas for fundraising and advice are welcomed as is input from anyone who might be serving at the moment.
Knit Blankets and Dog Jackets for Battersea Dogs & Cats Home
Battersea Dogs and Cats Home need knitters to whip up warm blankets and doggy jackets for their resident canines, so they can keep warm this winter.
Warm coats for rescued dogs
Erin Hounds Sighthound Rescue needs dog-loving knitters to knit snoods which will keep its residents warm. The charity rescues, rehabilitates and rehomes greyhounds and lurchers from Ireland, and when the dogs arrive they are often very skinny and feel the cold.
You can get the pattern for the snood and also a knitted dog jacket by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Woolly Hat Day 2015 for St Mungo's
Woolly Hat Day is back on Friday 30th January 2015 - so put your hat on, have fun and raise money to help homeless people get ahead! St Mungo's say:
"Over Woolly Hat Day 2014 we received so many hats from our wonderful knitters all over the country that we still have lots left, which is why we will not be asking people to knit and send us hats again this year. However, we are in the process of ‘casting on' some interesting woolly ideas we hope to tell you about in the not too distant future."
So watch this space!