Hats off to Fylde fundraisers

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HATS off to a group of Fylde coast fundraisers.

The local branch of a charity is not about to keep its fundraising lights under a bushel when it comes to collecting miniature hats.

Thanks to the knitting skills of hundreds of volunteers on the Fylde coast, Age Concern in Abingdon Street, Blackpool, has collected 6,000 tiny hats as part of its massive Big Knit project launched last month.

The hats have been designed to top Innocent Smoothie drinks bottles at stores including Sainsbury’s on Red Bank Road, Bispham, from November.

The company will then give 25p from each of the drinks sold while wearing a hat to the charity Age UK.

So as well as giving the drinks a fun makeover, volunteer knitters will help raise vital funds for the charity’s Winter Warmth scheme for pensioners.

Overwhelmed

Sue Panther, from the Blackpool branch, said the charity had been overwhelmed by how many hats had been sent in.

One of their helps got to work and knitted 700 herself, to help the bosses reach their massive total which has now been sent off to Innocent so the hats can be placed on bottles.

She added: “We had a tremendous response to our appeal, with at least 6,000 hats donated.

“One of our volunteers, Marjorie Stainton, knitted 700 herself.

“Many of the hats were knitted by people unable to get out of their homes.

“We are so grateful to all the people who took time to produce some wonderful variations of these bobble hats.

“We have now sent them off to the appeal – and I can have my desk back.”

The be-hatted drinks bottles will also be available from Sainsbury’s in St Annes and Boots in Blackpool, Lytham and St Annes from November 3.

Innocent and Age UK hope, with the help of thousands of individuals across the UK, they can hit an ambitious target of 650,000 little woolly hats, raising £162,500 for Age UK.

Patterns are available online and people wishing to get involved can still knit a hat and send it off to the company themselves.