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Child Abuse is the Highest Reason for Children in Care

Child abuse is the highest reason for vulnerable children in care with 39% being aged ten years and above.

knitted children's toys are a ballerina and a teddy

Knitted children’s toys give unconditional hugs to vulnerable children.

Verve’s knitting campaigns brought together groups of women who made knitted children’s toys that gave unconditional hugs to vulnerable children in need of a friend. These women understood the power of a knitted toy to a vulnerable child, and every stitch they make is interwoven with love for children. The impact the knitted toys make is immeasurable as they have now donated thousands of knitted toys to children in need of a hug. These ladies also know, these knitted toys have a job to do; they are often the key to helping children heal from hurt and learning to love and trust again.

I understood the impact knitted children’s toys made.

I take the knitted toys to local community groups and organisations who care for children and this includes the foster children supported by Not for Profit charities and local authorities. Verve has recruited foster carers on their behalf and it is due to this connection that I became aware of the need for knitted toys and the impact they made.

Knitted children's toys include a mouse with pink ears wearing a blue dress and pink shoes.

I knew many foster children had few possessions and often travelled with everything they owned in bin bags. I also understand the challenges faced as decisions are made to remove children from their homes. But, I am not a part of this decision making. I couldn’t do it but I understand that for some children, being away from home is safer for them.

These are children who have suffered abuse, loss and trauma. These children find comfort from knitted children’s toys that simply give them comfort from a hug when they need it most. Also, I belong to an inspiring group of women; we are passionate about helping children in any way we can.

Like many, I am conscious of children who have had a difficult start in life.

Like many women, I am conscious that many children have had a difficult start in life. I am also conscious of the damage a cost-of-living crisis, austerity and COVID has left in my community, as poverty and neglect have caused more children to enter the care system.

I, like many, never imagined this would happen during our lifetimes. But, like many others, we do more with less. Hence the weapon of choice. A ball of wool, compassion and an inherent empathy for all children and I wrote the Knitting toys give hugs and love to a child in care campaign. Soon, women soon came forward to help. Thanks to their kindness and talent, we had knitted children’s toys of every shape, size and colour, now we needed children for whom they were yet to meet.

knitted children's toys include a teddy and a ballerina.

So, I set off to find homes for our knitted friends. This led me to the foster care charities and local authorities I work with because they offer welcome packs to foster children to help them settle in their new foster homes. I asked if they needed knitted children’s toys to be included in the packs, they said yes. So, thanks to the kindness of women who care, their knitted toys are now included in the welcome packs for children who need a friend.

These knitted children’s toys have a job to do.

The knitted children’s toys are far more than a toy; they have a job to do. They are unique toys that bring children a sense of companionship and comfort. The sight of children’s faces lighting up with joy as they receive something special, made just for them, is wonderful to see. The toys work their magic when experienced support teams in local Sure Start and community centres use them to communicate with children.

These support teams are wonderful people; they have vast specialist knowledge in caring for children. They know that a little knitted friend is the bridge to breaking barriers; with their expert help, children’s imaginations and emotions become engaged.

A child playing with one of the knitted children's toys

‘Hi Val, I have attached a photo of a child enjoying one of the bunnies your lovely ladies have knitted. Kelley, our early years worker had a one to one with the child and mum and the child’s face lit up when he saw the knitted bunny. Thank you so much for the donations, our families have loved them and they are very much appreciated. Kind regards,

Jess – Atherton Start Well Centre

Many of these are ladies also become great foster carers. They know from experience, lived and learned of the barriers many children face. Also, they have experience in sensory care. They understand the soft textures of knitted children’s toys and how they soothe children. With them, children forget their worries and find joy in the gentle play that comes with having a little friend who understands.

Each child is as unique as each toy.

Each child is unique as every toy, and since the campaigns began, we have received knitted children’s toys in every shape, colour, texture and personality. We found homes for them with children who needed comfort, and with whom they belong. However, the knitted toy brought comfort to a scared child at first; but, over time as a child learned to love their new friend, they become friends for life…

Knitted children's toys made by Angela, with love.

The love for children, blended with compassion and empathy, and a ball of wool, make a huge difference in children’s lives. Knitted children’s toys have a job to do, and it is a very important job that enables professionals and carers to do what they have to do to help children heal.

Often, as children enter into a silent world to escape trauma, play is how they begin to communicate. It is widely accepted the purpose of toys for children is play as they learn; hence the bright colours, and shapes that teach children fundamental learning skills.

knitted children's toys in bright colours help children learn

Vulnerable children gain comfort from textures of wool.

But, sometimes, vulnerable children need a bit more than learning about colours and shapes. These children need to learn emotions, texture, the feeling of loving and this is the job of the knitted toys; they do it well.

Thank you to everyone who has helped bring comfort to children with donations of knitted toys to vulnerable children. The social impact made from a little ball of wool, blended with compassion and care is vast. You are wonderful. Also, to the support networks who help children heal through play, and who understand the vital work these toys make, keep doing it. You are amazing and together, we all make a difference.

If you would like to help with our campaigns, or donate wool to ease the cost of knitting for the ladies; please get in touch. Your support is very much appreciated and to the ladies who make this happen; you are wonderful. Thank you xx


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