Ready For A Challenge?
It seems my inbox is always full of ever adventurous ways to challenge yourself in the name of charity. A sky dive, climb the highest summits, run a marathon, a triathlon, you get the picture. Whilst these are great ways to promote and raise much needed funds for great causes, spare a thought to the less energetic of us in less than perfect shape.
Today I’m talking about crafting, and in particular knitting.
I haven’t picked up a set of knitting needles in years, since I was a girl guide in fact in the 80’s when I did my crafting badge. Back then I relied heavily on my mom to help me cast on and off and follow even the most basic pattern. I made a cardigan for my doll and I still have both the doll and the cardigan to this day (although in the intervening 30 years they are not looking their best – but neither am I !)
Fast forward to summer 2018 and I made my first contact with the local charity Black Country Women’s Aid, just a quick chat to see if there was anything I could help with as a local business. We discussed the new Go Purple campaign they were launching in October; Domestic Violence Awareness Month and we used our social media platforms to help spread the word. But the campaign drove me forward to do more, some active fundraising, and by November I had a little stall at my local school Christmas fayre. I had a collection of wool and needles with patterns ranging from a square blanket to a newborn bonnet. All the projects were charity related in some way, ‘a gift that keeps on giving’ with the recipient having the option to make the item and donate the finished product. We raised £400 that day but it wasn’t until January that I decided give it a go myself, I quite fancied the challenge of the knitted Trauma Teddy.
I had a few false starts, but this time instead of my mom I had you tube for help, (really is there nothing that you can’t find on there?). Here is side one of teddy number one;
So what is a Trauma Teddy? Well the idea originates in Australia where tens of thousands of Trauma Teddies are given out each year to help reduce the suffering of people – mostly children – affected by fire, floods or other disasters.
The Trauma Teddy was conceived in 1990 when Richard Hamilton, then superintendent of Campbelltown (NSW) ambulance service, saw a teddy bear given to a child being treated by the ambulance service in Camden. He was impressed by the calming effect the bear had on the child, so through his mother Vera Hamilton, he asked Red Cross to assist in providing more bears for children treated by the ambulance.
Red Cross swung into action and Trauma Teddy was born. Norma Elder organised a suitable pattern, a team of knitters, wool and stuffing and production began. The rest is history.
This is the pattern I used;
And here’s the finished product which will be heading over the Black Country Women’s Aid this Easter;
Black Country Women’s Aid (formerly known as Sandwell Women’s Aid) is an independent charity which has supported survivors of abuse and exploitation in the West Midlands for 30 years. More information can be found at;