HUGS for Hope

HUGS for Hope at St. Michael’s is a really exciting new project. Some thoughtful ladies at Herefordshire and Ludlow College saw their chance to make a difference to our families and the results of their work have been phenomenal. Tracy Hughes has written a short blog post describing the journey of HUGS.

Our friend Johanne Grinnell came up with the original concept for the HUGS. She saw a post on Facebook about a Hospice asking for crafters to help make blankets for their patients. My friends and I are huge crochet and craft fans and I also run a crochet course at the College, so Johanne thought this idea would be of interest to us… and it was!

Johanne then contacted Julia Bowcott, part of Hope’s Children and Young People’s Service at St. Michael’s, to see if we could help or give them anything. Out of that, Angela Davies and I had a meeting with Hope’s Julia and SammyJay, where we discussed lots of ideas including making clothing for the teddy bears Hope give to children who are bereaved at St. Michael’s. That was a little beyond our expertise! However, between us we came up with the idea of incorporating pieces of the loved one’s clothing into blankets for the children who needed comfort instead.

With the idea in place, we put out a Facebook and College request to see if anyone could help us by knitting or crocheting 6 inch squares. We received support far exceeding our expectations, nationally and locally, from family, friends and colleagues and even people we have never met!

Izzy Mitchell, from our Finance Department, has taken the loved one’s clothing and produced fabric squares out of it and also made hearts which we have sewn into the blankets. We make sure every blanket has a square with a heart motif and the letters H.U.G.

We all just felt that making these blankets and contributing to the service that Hope and St. Michael's provide was a way for the young bereaved people to keep their loved ones close - have a virtual HUG from people they have never met before - and for them to know that they have a support network around them and they are not alone.

If you want to join this movement, you can help this brilliant team by donating knitted or crocheted six inch squares and/or double knitted yarn. For more details on this, they can be reached on

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