Francis House Easter Chick Knit on target to raise £50,000 for hospice

Sacks of chicks arriving at Francis House
Sacks of chicks arriving at Francis House

Francis House Children’s Hospice in Didsbury is on course to match the £50,000 raised last year from its Easter Chick Knit.

Last year, around 40,000 crocheted and knitted chicks arrived into the hospice that provides a home from home environment to the families of children with life-limiting conditions.

And this year they have arrived from across Greater Manchester and the globe – each woolly creation is filled with a small chocolate egg, donated in their tens of thousands by schools, supermarkets and local businesses, and the cute chicks are sold across the region for £1.

Rachel Astill, fundraising officer at Francis House said: “From its beginnings as a chick knit by our hospice volunteers, and through the hard work of our supporters and the wider knitting community, the Francis House Easter Chick Knit has become a much-loved annual appeal with a fantastic feel-good factor.

“Every single chick knitted and every egg donated, really makes a big difference to us.”

More than 740 knitters have taken part, including groups of knitters and crafters.

Candy Crafts Club in Timperley, knitted a whopping 1,040 chicks, 200 more than last year, while a knitter in Western Australia sent 1,084.

Laure Chambers, 80, originally from Hulme, knits whilst watching football, cricket and athletics on TV at her home in Perth.

After travelling more than 9,000 miles in the post, Laure’s sisters-in-law Lillian Haughton and Jennifer Walker, from Cheadle Hulme, finish off the chicks with stuffing, beaks, eyes and bows before dropping them into Francis House.

For every chick knitted an egg is needed to fill it. Fashion retailer Boohoo donated 460 Cadbury creme eggs from its Northern Quarter office; Co-op Heaton Moor Road donated 692; Stockport’s Allied Bakeries dropped off 600; Town Barber Too in Oldham collected 901 and The Kings School in Macclesfield donated 1000.

Denton-based Francis Kirk Group, manufacturers of engineering and fastener products, loaned a driver and van to deliver two thousands chicks to be sold in six schools in Stockport.

The money raised will help towards the long-term running costs of the hospice, currently at more than £12,900 a day.

Anyone wanting to find out more about Francis House, there is a public open day at the hospice on Monday, April 23. For more information call 0161 443 2200.

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