The return of the Christmas gift with a conscience, One Knit Wonder, has launched a brand-new scarf edition. On sale now at John Lewis & Partners Cardiff, shoppers can pick up a starter kit to knit a hat or scarf. All profits will go to leading Welsh homelessness and rough sleeping charity, The Wallich, to help them keep the lights of their vital emergency accommodation on.
This year, in addition to a woolly hat, One Knit Wonder is available as a special edition scarf. Selling for £13.50 and £15.50 respectively, at John Lewis & Partners Cardiff for a limited time only, all profits from every One Knit Wonder will go to The Wallich and will help people sleeping rough across Wales.
Once their hat or scarf is complete, knitters have the choice of wearing their creation, gifting it or going out and giving it to a person in need. One Knit Wonder knitters will also be able to enter a free draw for a chance to win a selection of John Lewis cashmere worth around £200.
Rough sleeping is front of mind for many Christmas shoppers and, with the help of Blackberry the black sheep, the kit tells the people of Wales, “Ewe can do something about homelessness”. Buying a One Knit Wonder this winter will go towards funding for The Wallich’s emergency Nightshelter in Cardiff, offering people warmth, safety and support off the streets.
The One Knit Wonder was first launched by The Wallich in 2017 and contains chunky wool, knitting needles, a knitting pattern for a woolly hat and ‘one warm, fuzzy feeling’. Since its release, more than 2,000 boxes have been bought as a socially conscious stocking filler to help people experiencing homelessness across Wales.
Mike Walmsley, corporate fundraising manager at The Wallich, said: “Rough sleeping is a national emergency and we need a community response to ending homelessness in Wales. Purchasing a One Knit Wonder for family, friends or colleagues is a great way to do something immediate and practical and support a local charity tackling the wider issues of homelessness at the same time.”
The One Knit Wonder boxes and knitting patterns inside were kindly printed pro-bono by Harlequin Printing & Packaging in Pontyclun. “We’re so proud to carry on our association with the One Knit Wonder,” said Delme Beddow, sales director at Harlequin Printing and Packaging. “It’s been a pleasure to be involved from the beginning three years ago and to be able to lend our expertise in design and packaging to such an innovative campaign and emotive cause.
“John Lewis and Partners Cardiff and The Wallich are a natural fit for us in terms of partnership working and as long as the One Knit Wonders continue to raise both funds and awareness of homelessness, we’ll remain at their sides.”
Mollie Davies, John Lewis & Partners Cardiff events, marketing & community liaison, said, “John Lewis & Partners Cardiff are thrilled to welcome The Wallich back for another year of One Knit Wonder. Working closely with local charities to do good is something we are so passionate about, and it is lovely to partner at this festive time of year which can be hard for so many.”
The money from this year’s One Knit Wonder will go towards the charity’s winter campaign ‘Keep the lights on’ as they try to raise £89,000 to fund their emergency Nightshelter in Cardiff. The Wallich Nightshelter is open 365 days a year – including Christmas Day – preventing 23 people from sleeping rough every night. The charity doesn’t receive enough funding to keep the Nightshelter open and relies on the generosity of the general public to bring people out of the cold and into a place of safety and support.
The Wallich’s statistics show that the number of people in need of homelessness services is increasing. In 2018, The Wallich worked with 9,562 people in Wales; a 19% increase on the previous year.
It’s hoped that a new community of knitters who are aware of homelessness will be created from the product. Shoppers are encouraged to tweet their pictures using the hashtag #OneKnitWonder and be part of a growing conversation.