Knit for charity: 8 ways your knitting can help a good cause

From baking to learning a new language, many of us have taken up new hobbies lately in a bid to fill all our newfound free time. If that new hobby of yours happens to be knitting or crocheting, you could even make your free time benefits others, too.

Armed with just a ball of yarn and some knitting (or crocheting) needles, you can put your new skills to good use as many charities are in need of homemade blankets, quilts, pet toys and more right now – and all year round. Here’s how you can help them.

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Charities looking for volunteer knitters

Cats Protection

Cats Protection need people to knit blankets or mouse toys for their resident felines. The blankets go with the cats when adopted to help them settle into their new home. Check out the pattern for the mouse toy here. They advise against using stretchy yarns, small plastic accessories (such as for eyes) or knitting loose weave blanket patterns to avoid risk of injury for the recipient cats and kittens. Call 01227 686191 or email enquries@canterbury.cats.org.uk to organise sending them your creations.

Knit for Syria

Knit for Syria provide volunteer-made knitted and crocheted items for internally displaced people or children in hospitals in Syria. They’re looking for volunteers to knit jumpers, blankets, scarves, gloves, mittens and teddy bears. You can post your handmade items to: Hand in Hand for Aid and Development, 15 Auckland Road, Sparkbrook, Birmingham, B11 1RH.

The Big Knit for Age UK

It’s likely you’ve seen the Innocent Big Knit campaign before – it appears as tiny little knitted hats sitting atop special bottles of Innocent smoothies, from which Innocent donate 25p from each purchase to Age UK. They’re already planning the next Big Knit, which will likely be Autumn 2021, giving you plenty of time to get knitting some tiny hats. Get started with their knitting patterns and whether you make one or 100, Innocent wants them, so send them to: Big Knit Innocent Drinks, 342 Ladbroke Grove, London, W10 5BU.

Woolly Hugs

Wooly Hugs collect donations of and distribute a variety of knitted items to a number of ongoing projects and hospitals, including the Children of Chernobyl charity and Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow, Great North Children’s Hospital in Newcastle and Royal Brompton Hospital in London. To get involved, email at admin@woollyhugs.com. They’ve suspended accepting and sending on donations for the time being, but that doesn’t mean you can’t knit now and send later.

Battersea Dogs and Cats Home

Batterseas Dogs and Cats Home want blankets and mouse toys for their foster cats looking for new forever homes. You can also use their free bandana sewing patterns and make bandanas for dogs, which can then be sprayed with soothing scents and worn by the dogs to help relieve stress. Send your donations to: Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, 4 Battersea Park Road, London SW8 4AA.

Project Linus UK

Project Linus are always looking for donations, with their community of volunteers making patchwork quilts and knitted blankets for sick and traumatised babies, children and teenagers. To get involved find contact details for your nearest area coordinator here.

The Donkey Sanctuary

You can knit wooly donkeys for The Donkey Sanctuary to sell in their gift shops to raise funds for the charity – make yours and then send it here: The Donkey Sanctuary, Sidmouth, Devon EX10 0NU.

Francis House Children’s Hospice

The deadline for this one has since passed, but you can still get knitting for Easter 2021 – Francis House Children’s Hospice have asked people to knit little chicks for their Easter appeal. Post them to: Fundraising Office, Francis House Children’s Hospice, 390 Parrswood Road, Didsbury, Manchester, M20 5NA, marking your parcel ‘Easter Chicks’.