Most of us will be familiar with the teeny knitted hats sitting atop bottles of innocent smoothies that appear in supermarkets around the country during the winter months. The Big Knit campaign, run by innocent Ireland, to knit these little hats is ramping up its efforts to get 100,000 hats by the end of July.
Now in its eight year, The Big Knit sees knitters around the country knitting or crocheting tiny hats of all shapes and sizes. Innocent then top their smoothie bottles with the hats and donate 30 cent from each sale to the Age Action charity.
Over the past eight years the initiative has raised EUR140,000 for Age Action. Last year alone EUR20,000 was raised, the equivalent of just over 66,000 hats. This year the campaign is even more ambitious – it’s raised its hat target to 100,000, which would work out at EUR30,000 in funds.
The Big Knit is Age Action’s biggest single annual fundraiser. Funds raised directly support Age Action’s Care & Repair Programme, which receives no State funding. “Last year our volunteers carried out more than 32,000 DIY jobs, home visits and telephone contacts for older people all over Ireland. For many of our clients this might be their only contact with someone all week. It could be the difference between being safe, warm and cosy and being nervous, cold and uncomfortable,” said Caroline O’Connell, Head of Fundraising with Age Action.
So far some 50,000 hats have been sent in to innocent’s HQ of Fruit Towers, but to meet their target they need 50,000 more hats by 31st July. So what can you do? Well, the good news is innocent has a great selection of hat patterns available on its website. Whether you’re a knitter or crocheter, experienced or a beginner, you’ll be able to get involved.
The hats are ideal for using up those scraps of yarn most of us knitters have lying around, and are a lovely project to work on with your knitting group. Maybe run a little competition within your group to see who can make the most hats?
Hats can be sent to The Big Knit 2017, innocent drinks, Fruit Towers, 2 Ballsbridge Park, Dublin 4 or dropped into any of Age Action’s shops or offices in Dublin, Cork, Galway and Monaghan.