Chocolate filled crochet craft for preschoolers raises over £120 for arthritis charity

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.

Renate Hughes with the Cold Ash Pre-School kids and about 40 crochet chicks

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.

Renate Hughes donates it to preschool while raising money for March Knitting Versus Arthritis
Renate Hughes donates it to preschool while raising money for March Knitting Versus Arthritis

“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.

Preschool Leader Lucy Sandel with Renate Hughes and Special Educational Needs Coordinator Robyn Hamilton
Preschool Leader Lucy Sandel with Renate Hughes and Special Educational Needs Coordinator Robyn Hamilton

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.

Ms Hughes said it was nice to be around children again and make them smile
Ms Hughes said it was nice to be around children again and make them smile

“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.

Renate Hughes with her Chocolate Filled Crochet Chicks
Renate Hughes with her Chocolate Filled Crochet Chicks

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.

Renate Hughes donates it to preschool while raising money for March Knitting Versus Arthritis
Renate Hughes donates it to preschool while raising money for March Knitting Versus Arthritis

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.



About Tracy G. Larimore

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