Hug in a Blanket UK
A few weeks ago, we got the pleasure of chatting to Emily who helps to head up a community of makers called Hug in a Blanket UK; along with two other women- Geraldine and Susan. The group of makers and crafters make blankets for 0-18 year olds who have life threatening or life limiting conditions; or children who are likely to need lifelong care.
Each blanket is made from eighty-eight 6 inch squares in a 8x11 square arrangement. Every blanket has the child’s name, favourite colours, and knitted or crocheted depictions of their favourite things- whether that’s cars, dogs or TV/film characters. The finished product is the perfect size to cover a child’s bed.
These blanket squares feature some of a child's favourite things
This wonderful group of volunteers started over 5 years ago by accident, when a lady called Jess was going into hospital for an operation and sent out a request to her fellow makers on social media for everyone to send her a blanket square. The plan was to make herself a blanket to go into hospital with, however she soon found she had enough squares to make up a second blanket. She knew of another girl who would benefit from a blanket and asked her friend Geraldine to help her start a group. Soon more nominations came in and the group grew from there.
Emily (on the left) with Geraldine
Hug in a Blanket UK is run only as a Facebook group. Parents or guardians apply for a blanket by completing an application form. As well as details of the child’s condition, parents also list their favourite colours are favourite things. Blankets are announced weekly with a list of special requests for certain squares which the team of makers then comment on and pledge which squares they can create. (It’s worth saying here that safeguarding processes and confidentiality are agreed upon beforehand, and where the above info needs to remain private the details of the blanket are dealt with discreetly.)
Once makers have sent in their squares, each blanket’s worth of squares gets sent to a finisher who organises the layout of the blanket, crochets together and edges the finished piece.
These finished blankets then get sent to the family, along with a handwritten letter containing the name of the blanket’s sponsor. (More on blanket sponsorship in a mo!)
As you can see and imagine, this project requires a lot of dedicated, kind and generous people to keep working.
If you’d like to get involved and support Hug in a Blanket UK, here are some ways:
- Join the making community- join the Hug in a Blanket UK’s Facebook group to get involved.
- If you or someone you know would like to put their child’s name forward for a blanket, please join the Facebook group. To apply for a blanket, you must be the child’s parent or guardian. Please be aware that due to the limited size of the group that makes these beautiful blankets, every enquiry sadly can’t be taken on, however the team will do their best to make a blanket for every child who needs one.
- Sponsorship- as the group is run by volunteers, it requires the generosity of the wider community. Sponsoring one blanket costs only £8. This covers the cost of postage of the squares to the finishers, and then the blankets to the child. It used to also cover stationery costs for this process, however due to rising costs these now need to be covered by fundraising. You can find out more about fundraising events on Hug in a Blanket UK’s Facebook group here https://www.facebook.com/
We loved meeting Emily and hearing about the community Hug in a Blanket UK has brought together, as well as some of the families they make for. Do reach out to support them where you can and we hope to be able to support them further in years to come!
Here are a couple of examples of the beautiful blankets the team creates.