If you've got the knitting or sewing bug and you're looking for some projects to get your teeth into and do some good at the same time you could do a lot worse than using your skills to volunteer for charity. We've collected together an assortment of projects and patterns charities around the world are looking for help with, so read on to find out how you can volunteer from the comfort of your own home.
Cats Protection are looking for mice and blankets to help the thousands of cats in their care.
Try knitting this Captain Cat-Battler catnip mouse for Cats Protection
Teddies for Tragedies
Knit a bear for a child who has no toys or who’s suffered a trauma.
Saga Home Insurance provides cover that goes beyond what you might expect. For more information and to get a quote click here.
Francis House Children's Hospice
Francis House Children’s Hospice offers the families of very sick children a respite from their role as carers and gives the children a loving home from home. Each year for Easter knitted chicks are made to help raise funds.
Find out how to knit or crochet a poppy in memory of the fallen
Knit for Syria
Syrian winters can be cold, and displaced people can be living in damp and draughty conditions such as tents, caves and abandoned buildings. As well as collecting money to buy supplies, Hand in Hand for Syria also collects knitted or crocheted blankets and clothing which is then taken to Turkey to be distributed in Syria. A list of the items needed is on their website.
Read our guide to baking for charity
Dress a Girl Around the World
This charity provides dresses from pillowcases for girls in Africa and are looking for volunteers to make more. There are several sewing events being held around the country and the UK effort, and so far they have delivered more than one million dresses.
Little Dresses for Africa
This non-profit organisation distributes simple dresses in orphanages, churches and schools in Africa so that the girls know they are worthy. A pillow case pattern is great, but any simple pattern is also fine. The organisation also makes britches for boys and washable sanitary pads that allow menstruating girls to attend school. The organization started in the USA but you can send donations from here by contacting the UK representative.
Are You Being Bullied
Anita Hunt's children's novel Matty-boy & The Secret Pigeon Racket aims to encourage children to tell a trusted adult if they are affected by bullying. Talented toy designer, Alan Dart, has designed a knitting pattern for Percy from the book and the charity are asking knitters to make the birds and donate them to schools to encourage kids to open up about bullying.
Project Linus provide quilts and blankets for sick and traumatised babies, children and teenagers.
Helping premature babies in the UK, this charity provide premature baby clothes, blankets and tragically, burial clothes too. They’re looking for stitchers, knitters and crocheters to contribute.
Lactation Consultants of Great Britain
Hospitals and community midwives use model breasts to show new mothers how to breastfeed and how to express milk if necessary, but they cost £35 each, and knitted versions work just as well. Contact your local hospital's infant feeding co-ordinator to find out if they would welcome donations and use the pattern found here:
This site represents over 36 different charities including the RSPCA, The Salvation Army, SANDS, Operation Orphan and many others. They’re looking for anything from warm clothing for the homeless or children living in cold counties to bags to save tiny puffins who have been blown off course!
The Big Knit
Innocent sells special smoothies with woolly hats on, donating 25p from each purchase to Age UK. They always need knitters to make the hats.
The Donkey Sanctuary
They are looking for volunteers to knit woolly donkeys to sell in their gift shops to raise much-needed funds.
Battersea Dogs and Cats Home
Battersea are looking for blankets and knitted mice to keep their residents happy while they wait to be rehomed.
Battersea are also appealing for bandanas for dogs in their care
Made4Aid (for Medecins sans Frontieres)
The charity are always looking for handmade gifts to sell to raise funds to send doctors to war zones and the world’s trouble spots.
Making For Charity
Making for Charity put willing crafters in touch with organisations who need help providing ideas, advice and support. For example, they supported schools in a project to make syringe driver bags for a Liverpool hospital in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.
Oxfam no longer send out the blankets made from volunteers’ knitted squares but the charity do ask for knitters to make blankets, scarves and clothes to be sold in their shops and also at music festivals. You can find several patterns on their website.
How knitted vests have been helping rescued battery hens
Want to help out charities but knitting isn’t your thing? From mapping disaster zones to helping blind people perform daily tasks, we’ve put together a list of nine great ways to volunteer online.
Subscribe today for just £3 for 3 issues...