Welsh homelessness charity, The Wallich, John Lewis Cardiff and Harlequin Printing & Packaging have created a sell-out knitting kit called the One Knit Wonder.
Due to high demand the 1,260 boxes commissioned had completely sold out the weekend before Christmas, raising a total of £12,600 for people sleeping rough.
The One Knit Wonder, a unique hat kit, contained everything needed to knit a beanie hat from scratch while helping the charity ‘knit homelessness in the bud’.
Shoppers and novice knitters bought the gift for £12, at John Lewis Cardiff, for a limited time before Christmas. £10 from every One Knit Wonder went to The Wallich, helping people sleeping rough across Wales.
The One Knit Wonder was designed by The Wallich and contained chunky wool, knitting needles, a knitting pattern for a woolly hat and ‘one warm, fuzzy feeling’. Knitters were encouraged to wear, gift or donate their completed hat and pass on the warm feeling to others.
Mike Walmsley, Corporate Fundraising Manager, at The Wallich said, “We are so grateful to John Lewis Cardiff for helping us do something about homelessness and to Harlequin for donating the packaging, free of charge, and making our vision come to life.”
Cliff Vanstone, Head of Branch, at John Lewis Cardiff said, “The One Knit Wonder has a serious message but we’re delighted to have worked with The Wallich on a product that is both fun and has helped raise money for a great charity.”
Delme Beddow, Director of Harlequin Printing & Packaging in Pontyclun, said, “We really wanted to give something back to the community and the partnership with The Wallich and John Lewis came at a perfect time. It’s great that we’ve been able to use our extensive printing and packaging expertise to create something that will have a positive impact on the streets of Wales.”
The Wallich is delighted to have been shortlisted for a Third Sector Award Cymru 2017, under the Most Innovative Fundraising category, for the success of the One Knit Wonder. The results will be announced on 8 February 2018.
Mr Walmsley continued, “The One Knit Wonder really reflects The Wallich’s innovative way of doing things. As well as accommodation and lifestyle support for people who have experienced homelessness, we provide unique experiences for our service users which enables training and development. We hope everyone who managed to get a One Knit Wonder kit will gain a new skill and inspire people to get more involved in their community.”
Some of The Wallich’s service users volunteered and helped to pack One Knit Wonder boxes, giving them experience of working in the John Lewis environment and a unique opportunity to boost their skills and confidence.
The money from the One Knit Wonder is ring-fenced for the charity’s Rough Sleepers’ Intervention Teams, which help people in Wales experiencing homelessness get off the streets and into safety – 365 days of the year.
The Wallich’s Rough Sleeping Statistics show that the number of people they make contact with on the streets every day is increasing. The Wallich’s Rough Sleepers’ Intervention Team made contact with 40 people in Cardiff on Christmas Day in 2017; its highest number for the public holiday since recording began in 2013.