Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Knit Hats For Babies Project

KUSU Volunteering offers Kingston student's the opportunity to run their own volunteering projects. Rachael our winner of the Project of the Year Award back in May gave us this update on the project that bagged her the award.   

Hi, I’m Rachael, a second year Biomedical Science student, and I run the volunteering opportunity ‘Knit Hats for Babies’!

Knitters met regularly at the Students' Union
The project was started way back in 2009, by an American student by the name of Lisa Ta. She ran the project to knit hats for babies that are currently in the Neonatal Unit at Kingston Hospital NHS Trust. It was an awe-inspiring project, and when she handed over the reins to me, it allowed me to make this project my own.

Since then we’ve had amazing turnouts, especially during Student Volunteering Week. My own personal goal for the project was to make 100 hats by the end of the summer term. We already have over 150 hats, with more than 50 volunteers showing interest in the project. We also make booties and blankets, and it’s not just knitting; I also teach volunteers how to crochet if they so wish!

Rachael and some of the group at our awards
Running your own project requires a serious amount of organisation and dedication, but it pays off when you see how successful it becomes. Budgeting is definitely not my strongest point (this includes inputting how much you’ve been spending into a spreadsheet), but I do have a very money-savvy head on my shoulders, so I can tell when I see a bargain on wool! I have also created a Facebook page, a mailing address, and a Junction49 page to help organise the project. It is difficult to fit the project in to my weekly routine, but it means I can use my free time doing something productive. Besides, once you see your first completed baby hat, I guarantee you’ll be hooked into making more!

I believe the project not only gives people the chance to volunteer for a good cause, but it also allows them to acquire a new skill and show off their creative sides, to socialise with people of similar interests, and gives them a safe haven once a week where they can take a break from the stress of everyday student life. 

Knitting during Student Volunteering Week
For more information about the charity itself visit their website here. For more information about the project or if you’re interested in joining, please contact me at

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