A former childminder knitted Easter-themed chocolate stuffed animals for preschoolers at Cold Ash.
Thatcham resident Renate Hughes, 67, visited Cold Ash Preschool on April 7 to give children crochet Easter chicks with mini eggs inside.
She created the crochet craft as part of the March Knitting for Arthritis fundraising challenge, an initiative launched by the charity Versus Arthritis.
Ms. Hughes also suffered from arthritis herself for 15 years.
“My husband has it too and a lot of people I know,” she said, “so I thought I might raise some money.”
The nationally observed knitting marathon challenges people to be as creative as possible.
“I was looking for a good idea of what to knit and asked in kindergarten if it would be a good idea,” she said.
“They loved it. I know kindergarten and sometimes I give them craft stuff.
Using a ‘stash of yarn’ she had around the house, given to her by various people, she knitted a total of 44 Easter chicks and said each took about an hour and a half at two o’clock.
She commented, “I’ve always been crafty since I was little. Arthritis has affected my hands as well as my walking, so knitting is good for keeping moving, it helps with that.
Ms Hughes said it was wonderful to see the smiles on the children’s faces as she welcomed them to nursery school.
“They loved it,” she said. “I was a childminder myself, so I like to do things for children.
“The children rushed to talk to me, not because I had the eggs, they were hidden. It was wonderful to see their smiles.
“It was a very nice day. We had a great time.”
She continued: “It raises awareness, not to people around me but to people in kindergarten and it also raised funds for research”.
Helen Barnes from Cold Ash Preschool helped organize the event with Ms Hughes and said it was lovely to have such a “nice woman” visit.
She said, “I knew [Mrs Hughes] for years in a toddler group she used to run, she asked if she could do it, which we were thrilled about. She came and spent an hour with the children.
She said the children were “very excited” to receive the chocolate-filled Easter chicks and said a few children had actually eaten half their chocolate eggs before going home.
“The children all said thank you, they were really happy. It was a great idea,” she concluded.
Donations can be made on Mrs. Hughes’ Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/donate/2180754348743138/2208774472607792/?comment_id=2208988202586419
The charity itself has raised over £120,000 for the cause so far.