Get stitching! These UK charities looking for volunteer knitters


Life is so much better when you have a knitting or crocheting project on the go – but what should you make? Crafting for charity is a rewarding activity to do if you have the time and means to. You don't need to be proficient in either craft to get started.

Many knitting for charity projects are designed to be quick and easy so that anyone can take part including newbies. For experienced crafters, charity knits are a chance to share their skills by putting their talents to good use.

What is knitting for charity?

It's a form of volunteering where you give you time to create a handmade item for someone or even an animal in need. You'll need to provide the materials too, so if you're someone that has a large stash of yarn it's a great way to put it to use. Sometimes they are gifted directly to those in need. Other times they are sold to raise generate much-needed funds.

There are so many good causes you can support located all across the UK which means you could support someone local or further afield.

You just need your yarn or even a knitting kit and and a cuppa to fuel your crafting!

And if you're keen to get involved but want to spruce up your knitting skills, check out our how to knit guide and videos on stocking stitch, cable knit and moss stitch, as well as how to cast off.

Here's how you can put your skills to use and help with knitting for charity...

Knitting for charity: how to get involved

From tiny hats for juice bottles and individual squares to entire blankets, there are different types of projects for everyone that will suit your experience and the time you have available. We've done the easy part by listing some of our favourite charities who need support from crafters. The difficult bit is choosing who to support first...

Cats Protection

Cats Protection are looking for people who want to knit a mouse cat toy – and they have a pattern you can check out here.

Cats Protection advises that when knitting a toy, it's best to avoid the use of stretchy yarns or small plastic items – such as those that can be used for mouse eyes – to reduce the risk of injury to cats and kittens.

To donate your crafty creations, all you need to do is send them to, or drop them off at, your nearest Cats Protection adoption centre – to find out where that is, visit www.cats.org.uk/find-us.

Knit for Syria

Knit for Syria says tens of thousands of knitted and crocheted items volunteers have made already have made a huge difference to the lives of internally displaced people, or to children in hospitals. They regularly transport the knitted and crocheted items to Syria where they are distributed according to seasonal need.

They require volunteers to knit jumpers, blankets, scarves, gloves, mittens and teddy bears. You can knit or crochet in any colour you like.

You can post your knitted or crocheted items to: Hand in Hand for Aid and Development, 15 Auckland Road, Sparkbrook, Birmingham, B11 1RH.

The Big Knit for Age UK

Innocent sells special smoothies with woolly hats on, donating 25p from each purchase to Age UK. The campaign is run every year, with information and important dates released on the Age UK website.

Every hat is important, so whether you knit one or loads, you'll be making a difference. Take a look at all their knitting patterns to help you get started – there are some fantastic ideas! They ask you keep hold of your hats for now, until the next campaign date has been announced.

Once the campaign date has been announced, you can send them to: Big Knit innocent drinks, 342 Ladbroke Grove, London W10 5BU.

Battersea Dogs and Cats Home

Battersea Dogs and Cats Home have shared some how-to guides for safe pet toys you can make, like in the video above.

They are no longer accepting donations for animals at the centres, but encourage you to make toys for dogs and cats, similar to the ones used by volunteers and staff at Battersea.

Project Linus UK

Project Linus aim to provide a sense of security and comfort to sick and traumatised babies, children and teenagers through the provision of new homemade patchwork quilts and knitted blankets.

They encourage you to use whatever colours and designs you like, but check with your Area Co-ordinator about the size of blanket they need most.

It also gives volunteers across the UK the opportunity to contribute to their local community. To contact them your nearest Area Co-ordinator – click on their email address or telephone them. More information can be found here.

The Donkey Sanctuary

The Donkey Sanctuary is looking for animal-loving supporters to knit woolly donkeys to sell in their gift shops to raise much-needed funds. Named Woolly, these donated donkeys are sold in the visitor's centre.

If knitting isn't your thing, you can crochet a Neddy or sew a felt donkey filled with lavender, cinnamon or cloves.

Fill in your details here, and the sanctuary will send you the patterns.

Woolly Hugs

Woolly Hugs is a friendly, busy online community making special blankets, and is run entirely on a voluntary basis. There are a number of ongoing projects, including Angel Hugs for bereaved families and the Peony project, which aims to provide blankets and dementia fidgets for patients on the Elderly Care ward at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.

They also do special projects, such as knitting blankets for children in Chernobyl.

Other initiatives to get involved with include the launch of a new scarf pattern for young care leavers and sensory blankets for children with autism.

To get in touch, you can email them at admin@woollyhugs.com.

OXFAM

Oxfam is one if the UK's most recognised charities with the largest high-street presence. Did you know that they are always in need of handmade crafts they can sell to raise money including knitted and crocheted items? They would love to receive any clothes, blankets or bunting you've made.

There are more details on their website which includes free knitting patterns including a knitted hat with flaps, a peaked hat and hand warmers. All knits and crochet pieces can be dropped to your local store. They also welcome sewn products too.

SiMBA - Memory Boxes

https://twitter.com/SiMBA_team/status/1661697375629352962/photo/1

Scottish charity SiMBA support families after the loss of a baby and will assist anyone who is affected in the UK. One of their initiatives is to gift memory boxes to grieving families, which contain small knitted bears and blankets. Head to their website to download free knitting patterns.

Finished donations can be sent to FAO Knitting, Simba Charity, Unit 7 Colliery Court, McSence Business Park, 32 Sycamore Road, Mayfield, EH22 5TA.

QMCG - Queen Mother's Clothing Guild

The most established charity in our round-up, QMCG launched in 1882 and they've worked with volunteer knitters since then. Each year they release a list of the knitted items they require to help support some of the most vulnerable people such as those is hospices, child refugees and the homeless.

For 2024, the call out includes knitted hats, women's cardigans, bed socks and blankets. They request you contact them before you get started and welcome knitting groups.

Stitches of Support - The Nightingale

The Nightingale Cancer Support Centre is calling knitters and crocheters of every skill level to get involved with their Stitches of Support project.

This community-based project aims to take knitted squares sent in by volunteers to create blankets for patients going through active cancer treatment. Squares can be in whatever design, size and colours you like – you can also donate a whole blanket if you prefer.

Download one of their Stitches of Support forms here, to include with your squares so that they know where they've come from.


We've also complied a list of organisations specifically needing charity knits for babies.

Do you love knitting? Share your creations with us by tagging @primamag in your pictures on Instagram!

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