“Singlets and Slippers” is coming…

Good morning,

I hope you are all enjoying some nice Spring weather and are looking forward to Daylight Saving starting in a few weeks time. Over the winter months I tend to hunker down and stay indoors, and so when the days start getting longer and the temperatures start rising, I definitely feel my mood and enthusiasm for activity start to improve.


We are finalising some of the regional events for our national “Singlets and Slippers” promotion, and this time we are profiling an organisation that Crafty Volunteers has worked closely with since we established…


Kiwi Family Trust 

Kiwi Family Trust was established in Christchurch in 2002, and while their primary function is to provide training and advocacy services to promote health and welfare for young people and their families, they are also about looking after vulnerable people in their community.

Barbara, Caroline from Preg Help
Maggie and Barbara with Caroline from Pregnancy Help (2017)

We first became aware of the team at KFT back in 2015, when they were one of the recipients of our very first promotion “The great 10 Day Peggy Square craft-a-thon”. Since then we have gotten to know Barbara Aitken very well, and just love the way that our two organisations can regularly come together to create some good for our communities.

Many of you will know Barbara as being the crafting face of KFT. She is an amazing lady and has not only become a great friend to me, but also an avid supporter of Crafty Volunteers, and one of the Charity Yarn Stash Coordinators in Christchurch.

So how does a youth training organisation get involved with charity crafting? Well, Barbara was working in the KFT office about 10 years ago and she observed that a lot of the families they were working with had babies and younger children that didn’t have much in the way of warm woollen clothing, so she started making things for them. One thing led to another and Barbara started working part time in the office, and part time with a band of happy knitters around her, and she was connecting with various Canterbury charities to distribute the items that had been made.

Barbara, Greg from Special Rigs for Special Kids
Barbara with Greg from Special Rigs for Special Kids in Dunedin

Fast forward a few years, and Barbara was working full time on the knitting project for KFT – which saw her travelling the length and breadth of the country, visiting crafters and charities alike. The primary focus of the knitting programme is to provide warmth for babies and small children, however, when a need is identified, Barbara will do what she can to find whatever is needed.  I guess it’s no surprise then that Barbara and I have had numerous random conversations about all sorts of ways to solve some community problem or other.

Over the last 10 years, Barbara and her knitters have given away many thousands of items throughout New Zealand, mainly through Plunket and Pregnancy Help.


Singlets and Slippers

There is always so much demand for baby clothes, from the Neo Natal Units and the maternity wards, through to those organisations that work in the community – Plunket, Pregnancy Help, Little Sprouts, just to name a few.

Half of the recent batch of singlets knitted by Maggie

I remember talking to the volunteer coordinator at Wellington Hospital a few years ago and was told that they give out over 8000 baby singlets or cardigans every year – that’s a massive volume! Imagine how many items must be given away by all of the charitable organisations around the country, the figures must be staggering… and each and every one of you amazing crafters do you part to help fill that need.

It’s because of volumes like this, that Crafty Volunteers chooses to run a couple of promotions each year, to help spread that word, and build up some stocks of much needed items around the country.

As mentioned in my blog/email last time (where we featured the great work of Wrap Up our Schools), this promotion is focussing on keeping our babies and young people warm with “singlets and slippers”, both of which are fairly quick easy knits.

Maggies singlets
The other half of the batch of singlets

Personally, I make loads of singlets every year, and about 6 weeks ago I dropped off a batch of 42 singlets to the Charity Yarn Stash Coordinator out in Lower Hutt. My preference is to make them bright colours, to hopefully bring some joy as well as warmth to the end recipient and their baby.


Join us at an event on 12 October

Like last year, we have a crafting events scheduled for Wellington, Christchurch and Tauranga on October 12th as follows:

Wellington – Newlands Community Centre, 9 Batchelor St, Newlands – 10.00am til 5.00pm. Hosted by Maggie (with support from Rachel/Rosie), ph 021-511004

Christchurch – Kiwi Family Trust, 420 St Asaph St, Phillipstown, Christchurch – 10.00am til 2.00pm. Hosted by Barbara, ph 021-1901661

Tauranga – Greerton Community Centre, 1263 Cameron Rd, Tauranga – 9.30am til 2.30pm. Hosted by Lisa, ph 021-951909

We will be crafting and chatting throughout the day; sharing crafting tips and lessons with each other; receiving your donations of singlets and slippers; and we will also have some guest speakers popping in to talk about the amazing organisations that they are involved with, and how your contributions truly make a difference to the end recipient.

I hope you can get along to an event near you – and remember to let your crafty friends and family in these locations know about the event, we would love to welcome them along.

If you’ve got singlets or slippers that you’d like to donate, please contact your nearest CYS Coordinator and they will happily distribute them to organisations that need these items the most.

combined poster


Charity Yarn Stash Coordinators

As mentioned, a couple of blogs/emails ago, we now have Anna K on board as our CYS Coordinator Liaison, and in addition to having her baby son last month (huge congrats to you and Michael), she has been busy recruiting new CYS Coordinators into the fold.

We are very pleased to announce that Heather Priske is now a Coordinator in Hastings, and Alice Watson is joining us as a Coordinator in Wanaka. Welcome aboard!

If you’re keen to get involved, either as a Charity Yarn Stash Coordinator in a new region, or to help one of the existing regions, please feel free to drop Anna an email at admin@craftyvolunteers.org.nz and she can give you some information about the role.


Until next time…

Keep up the amazing crafting that each and every one of you do, and also make time to get out and enjoy the Springtime.

Yours – with Love, Compassion and Hope