A few months ago, I decided to learn how to crochet. For a few years I’d been familiar with the amazing voluntary efforts of a charity called Woolly Hugs and I decided I wanted to join them.
Woolly Hugs started off on the parenting forum Mumsnet, by bringing people together to contribute crochet or knitted squares that are put together to make blankets. It began with blankets being donated to Mumsnet members who had suffered a bereavement, and over time it grew. The charity now contributes various woolly things for all sorts of worthy causes and has extended beyond the forum.
“Mumsnet is sometimes accused of being shouty and cross (and it can be) but put simply, there are few better places to get support when you need it most. These blankets and the work and love behind them shows just how much of a community Mumsnet really is.” Justine Roberts, April 2012, CEO and Co-Founder
www.mumsnet.com & www.gransnet.com
It was the death of a well-loved and inspirational Mumsnetter called Candy that really inspired me to get myself a hook and some wool and get involved.
One of the causes that particularly stood out to me was the Chernobyl project. Woolly Hugs made 112 blankets this year to give to children and teens who came over to the UK this summer for recuperative holidays. They live in areas affected by the Chernobyl nuclear reactor disaster. Read more about this project here.
The Chernobyl project is where I started my involvement. I learned how to crochet on 15th March and within 20 days I was able to make twenty 6″ squares and eight 12″ squares (the equivalent of another 32 x 6 inchers!) which is pretty good going for a newbie!
To put into context the work that the Woolly Hugs volunteers do, for 112 blankets the equivalent of 8,960 six-inch squares were needed. That’s a lot of wool and a lot of work by an incredible team, which I was proud to be a part of. Here’s a small selection of the blankets that include squares I made:
The Chernobyl Kids project is an annual event, with different children coming over each summer, and I look forward to taking part again next year.
There are many ways to get involved in the work of Woolly Hugs – by contributing squares, blankets or other items you’ve made, by donating funds or by donating wool that can be used to make the squares/blankets. They have an Amazon wish list of things they need too. If you’d like to be involved, you can get in touch with them at their website, through their Facebook page or their Twitter.
Individually, each person can’t do much to make the world a better place. But when lots of people work on something together they can certainly make a difference.