The charity event known as ‘chick knit’ successfully raises funds for a hospice.

Francis House Children’s Hospice Receives Overwhelming Support for Easter Chick Appeal

Francis House Children’s Hospice in Manchester was inundated with knitted chicks and bunnies from all around the world after launching an appeal for donations. The hospice, which provides care to children and young adults with life-limiting conditions, received a whopping 35,000 chicks, all filled with chocolate eggs and ready to be sold for £2 each.

The Francis House Easter Chick Appeal not only brings in vital funds for the hospice’s important work, but it also involves the entire community. Schools, supermarkets, and local businesses all donated chocolate eggs, while volunteers helped pack the chicks and bunnies and various venues sold them.

Rachel Nasiri, fundraising officer at Francis House, expressed her gratitude for the overwhelming support, saying, “Our Easter Chick Appeal is unique in that it involves not just our wonderful knitters but the whole community going all out in their support. Businesses and individuals collect and donate creme eggs, dozens of volunteers pack the chicks into orders and heaps of fantastic venues sell the chicks and bunnies – it’s a huge team effort.”

The response to the appeal was truly global, with donations coming in from as far as Hong Kong, Canada, Australia, and even Uganda. One dedicated knitter, Maria Dunbobbin from Cheadle, created over 1,400 chicks, some with beautiful bows and googly eyes. She even made a dozen Super Mario-themed chicks, which were quickly snatched up by eager fans.

However, not all of the chicks arrived in perfect condition, and a group of volunteers stepped in to make repairs. Great-grandmother Beryl Wood from Denton single-handedly mended over 1,000 chicks, making a daily 15-mile round trip to the hospice to collect the “patients.”

Beryl, aged 85, shared her love for knitting and her dedication to helping the hospice: “My mum taught me to knit when I was seven and I love it. So long as what I’m doing with my life has no negative impact on anybody, I just do what I like. We’re on this earth to do good and if I can help an amazing charity like Francis House, I’m really pleased to help out.”

Volunteers like Beryl and Cheryl Thompson, a retired volunteer from Heaton Chapel, helped unpack and organize the thousands of donations. Employees from companies like Taylor Wimpey Manchester, CHEP UKI, and Equilibrium Financial Planning also took part in “stuffing” sessions during paid volunteering hours.

The success of the Easter Chick Appeal also required a team of volunteer drivers, with staff from AO’s Quality and Compliance team in Bolton delivering 3,800 chicks to 20 locations around the city. Over 60 schools participated in selling the chicks, with students from St Vincent’s RC Primary School in Altrincham selling 800 chicks.

Rachel expressed her gratitude for the overwhelming support, saying, “The funds raised through this year’s Easter Chick Appeal will go a long way in supporting the work of Francis House. We rely on the community’s goodwill to continue our services; it is very reassuring in this difficult fundraising climate to see so many supporters still prepared to give their time, efforts and money to help our hospice.”

For those still hoping to purchase a knitted chick, a Google map has been created with over 70 participating vendors. All proceeds from the sales will go towards supporting the families of children and young adults with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions through respite care, homecare, sibling support, end of life care, and bereavement support.

To learn more about Francis House Children’s Hospice and their services, please visit their website at

Derick is an experienced reporter having held multiple senior roles for large publishers across Europe. Specialist subjects include small business and financial emerging markets.

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