Following on from our very successful Yarn Bombing at Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice, we knitted a 4m x 4m Knitted Show Garden Installation at RHS Malvern Spring Festival in May 2018. Clare was crowned Creative Fundraiser at this years JustGiving Awards.
Why Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice?
My husband died in 2015 at the age of 47 from cancer. He spent his last three weeks in Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice in Cheltenham, but had also attended there as an day patient. From the very first time I took him there, I knew I would support them for life.
In the months following his death, I was diagnosed with PTSD, (caused by events around his death) anxiety and depression. I was referred to a psychologist & one day she asked me if I could knit. I could, but hadn't for many years.
She suggested that I tried to knit again as a way of alleviating my symptoms. I went away and thought about it, got out my needles, knitted a Christmas angel and decided that as I was 50 this year, I would set myself a target of raising £500 for the hospice by knitting Christmas items, bouquets of flowers and dolls. I met my target, even before my birthday in April, and have to date raised £1300!
When word got around the hospice of what I was doing, the receptionist's partner casually said, 'Why don't you yarn bomb a tree at the hospice?' Again, I thought about it, did some research, and with the help of 25 friends and hospice volunteers, did indeed yarn bomb a tree. It caused a great deal of local social media interest and helped raise awareness of both hospice care and the role of knitting in alleviating mental health conditions.
Why RHS Malvern Spring Festival 2018?
In April, I met with a friend for my 50th birthday and she asked if I could knit a 4m x 4m Show Garden Installation for RHS Malvern Spring Festival in 2018. Of course, I thought, not a chance, that's huge! But again, went away and thought about it, did some research, spoke to a few of the yarn bombing knitters who were super keen.... SO, in May 2018, we are indeed knitting and crocheting a 4m x 4M Show Garden Installation at RHS Malvern Spring Festival. I decided I wanted to recreate the calm and tranquility of the hospice, raise awareness of what hospices are all about, and raise money too.
The garden features a hospice bedroom, but within a garden, featuring healing and sensory plants and flowers, almost bringing the outside to the patients who are unable to venture out. We have knitted grass and wallpaper, pots of flowers and a magnificent bedspread for the bed.
It became a huge community project across all Three Counties of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire and throughout the world from 5 states of the USA, to Australia and New Zealand, Spain Belgium and The Netherlands!!
Why a Work of Heart?
I have come up with the idea that we could all knit hearts, which could be purchased for a donation and then hung in an avenue of trees and our garden at the RHS Malvern Spring Festival 2018. This way it is an evolving project too. We estimate that with an expected footfall of 100,000 people over the show weekend, we need at least 10,000 hearts! Incredibly, I’ve now received over 50,000 hearts through the post.
My darling Ken would have been 50 this year, so I am challenging myself to raise £50,000 in his memory for Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice as result of our Knitted Show Garden Installation at RHS Malvern Spring Festival. I hope you feel inspired to donate and help us meet this target.
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