8 UK charities looking for volunteer knitters

·5-min read
Photo credit: LukaTDB - Getty Images
Photo credit: LukaTDB - Getty Images

Knitting for charity is a wonderful thing to do if you have the time and means to. So if you've got all your yarn and craft kits sorted, and want to put your nimble knitting fingers to good use, these are the charities across the UK in need of homemade blankets, quilts and more, that you can make and donate to be distributed or sold to generate much-needed funds.

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

Prima's Get Britain Knitting campaign

We've teamed up with Knit for Peace to get readers knitting or crocheting blankets for families living in poverty.

Founder of Knit for Peace, Dame Hilary Blume says: "Blankets are always needed by our charity. Many families are on the poverty line and these blankets make a huge difference."

Find out how to get involved with the Get Britain Knitting campaign here.

Cats Protection

The Cats Protection are looking for people who want to knit either blankets or a mouse cat toy. For the mouse toy, they have a pattern you can check out here. The blankets go with the cats to help them settle into their new home. Cats Protection advises that when knitting a toy or blanket, 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. Loose weave blanket patterns involving the use of large needles are best avoided, too.

If you have knitted goodies for cats and are looking at ways to get them to the charity call 01227 686191 or email enquiries@canterbury.cats.org.uk.

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 our 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 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. 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! One made, 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 are always on the lookout for donated items such as pate-safe blankets. They even share some how-to guides for safe pet toys you can make, like in the video above.

However, they do say: "If you would like to knit or crochet blankets or toys for our animals, please keep in mind that large gaps in material can be dangerous as little paws and claws can get stuck. Please look into pet-safe patterns first to ensure your thoughtful donation is fit for purpose."

Donations can be posted or dropped off at one of their three centres.

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. 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 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 Whoolly, 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 lavendar, cinnamon or cloves.

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

They can be sent here: The Donkey Sanctuary, Sidmouth, Devon EX10 0NU.

Woolly Hugs

Woolly Hugs is a friendly, busy online community making special blankets, and is run entirely on a voluntary basis. Their ongoing projects are linked to the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow and the Great North Children’s Hospital in Newcastle (comforting Little Hugs for babies and children and also Angel Teds for bereaved families in PICU) and the Royal Brompton Hospital in London, (Angel Hugs for babies lost and their bereaved families). To get in touch, you can email them at admin@woollyhugs.com.

Francis House Children's Hospice

Each year, Francis House asks the public to knit as many little chicks as you can manage for their Easter appeal. The chicks are filled with donated chocolate eggs and sold around Greater Manchester to raise funds for the hospice.

You can post them in to: Fundraising Office, Francis House Children's Hospice, 390 Parrswood Road, Didsbury, Manchester, M20 5NA, marking your parcel 'Easter Chicks'.

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