By Helen Hyland, Fundraising Manager, ME Association.
A HUGE thank you to everyone who has kindly supported Lauren Childs’s call for knitted squares for her All about ME Knitathon project. Her aim now is to exhibit the blankets she has been making…
She writes, “I decided to set up a knitathon for ME/CFS awareness week 2018 as I believe doing something once a day that makes you happy (no matter what, no matter how well you do it, how long for) keeps you going and keeps your mental strength strong too!”
We’ve lost count of how many boxes of knitted squares we’ve mailed off to Lauren for her M.E. Knitathon project. She must have the makings of quite a number of blankets now.
Lauren says, “I hoped to join these squares and pieces of every suffering person together to build a chain, to unite us in strength, hope and to gain awareness and funds the more it grows.”
Lauren didn’t just seek knitted squares, she asked the makers to include a small card explaining how this awful disease has affected them. The ME Community has responded magnificently and almost every single square has been sent with special messages and greetings, explaining how M.E. has affected people's lives not just in UK but from across the world.
This project is not just about the knitting, it is also about being able to showcase the combined work to get those messages across to a wider audience. Initially, Lauren was wanting to use the squares to ‘yarn bomb' somewhere prominent. But, when every square tells its own message so poignantly, we believe that an exhibition would better serve her needs.
We’ve emailed the main crafting exhibitors and even the WI, but commercial exhibition space costs a great deal and Lauren is keen that proceeds go to supporting others with M.E. and not just for paying to host an exhibition. So, we’re writing to ask our wonderful M.E. community if they know of any public venue that such an exhibition could be held – preferably during ME Awareness Week (7th – 13th May) this year.
Ideally the venue would be based in the West Midlands, but it might be possible to transport elsewhere. If you know of a suitable venue, please contact Lauren via her All About ME Knitathon Facebook page.
The page itself is well worth a visit – it reveals many of the stories and a whole host of the knitted and crocheted squares she has received. And if you don’t knit, but would like to support Lauren in her fundraising challenge, please go to her fundraising page on Justgiving.