This is Phase 2 of the Little Hugs project. Since the beginning, the aim of the Little Hugs has been to provide little blankets that give comfort to babies and small children who are seriously ill in hospital. Hopefully, Phase 2 will continue to do this and more.
We are launching this phase as a tribute to beautiful Billie, our lovely MrsDeVere's daughter, who devastatingly died at 14 from leukaemia. This is the time of her 21st birthday and we are calling the project Billie's Blankets in her memory. In her name, we will send little blankets to children who really need a woolly hug and to feel loved and looked after.
We have been talking to this wonderful organisation World Child Cancer and are arranging for Little Hugs to be sent to children suffering from cancer in low and middle income countries. In these countries their overall chance of survival can be under 10% compared to around 80% in high income countries such as ours. The first batch of Billie's Blankets will be taken to children in Malawi and Bangladesh.
World Child Cancer's response to our initial idea is below:
'Thank you for your email and your kind offer of support. Your blankets are beautiful and I'm sure they provide great comfort to the children who you make them for. I'm sure the children would love them. Unfortunately most of the children we see at our projects are not able to survive their cancer due to the poor conditions, lack of knowledge and the high cost of medicine in the worlds poorest countries. In these cases we encourage palliative care for the children through our twinning partners who provide training for local project staff on the importance of this care, especially in pain relief. Psychosocial care is also very important and an area we focus on through supporting parent groups and play therapists. I think your blankets would fit in well with this area.'
How you can help:
By crafting: You can help by either making a whole Little Hug (see yarn spec) Or By making 6" squares, either knitted or crocheted, using Stylecraft Special DK yarn
Or by donating for crafting materials: If you would like to contribute towards materials, you can either donate via Paypal here on our Woolly Hugs website or if you do not have Paypal, please PM RatherBeOnThePiste.
Or by donating to World Child Cancer (see below)
For all Little Hugs:
Minimum size: 24 inches by 24 inches If you would like to make a blanket that is bigger, that would be lovely. The children are aged 0 to 14 so we will need bigger blankets too.
Colours: Your choice. Although for practical reasons, we advise avoiding white and cream.
Things to avoid: Any embellishments that could scratch delicate skin or could be swallowed.
Materials: Suggested yarn: Stylecraft Special DK, a soft, non-scratchy acrylic yarn. If you would like to make a whole blanket, you could use a different weight and make of acrylic yarn. The essential thing is that it needs to be soft against sensitive and delicate skin and that it can be washed and dried quickly and easily.
If you would like to take part in this project but feel you can't due to the costs involved, please PM Pistey and we'll try to help with materials.
Alongside Billie's Blankets, we are very keen to send a donation. Money is scarce, they really have so little. In May a Woolly Hugs' team will be running the BUPA London 10k, and we have ideas for a craft fundraiser later in the year. We have set up a Just giving Page here Your donation is welcome at anytime.
These children need all the love and comfort possible. So please, in memory of a sparkling young girl who always thought of others, we'd love you to help us help them.