Live in the UK? This bereavement knitting charity is worthy of your support
A few weeks ago I mentioned the bereavement organization Daddys with Angels in the Knitting Nuggets Newsletter. This is a highly unique charity because, as the title suggests, a man created it. A bereavement knitting charity called Handmade with Love for Angel Babies now accompanies it.
Daddys with Angels is the brainchild of Paul Scully-Sloan, a UK gentleman who recognized the need for safe spaces for men and boys to talk about their loss. It does seem sometimes like society is all too ready to support mothers and female family members who have suffered miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss. But male relatives don’t always receive that same support.
Paul set up his first private Facebook group in 2010. Later, he developed another private Facebook group for both mothers and fathers who had experienced infant loss.
Designing a New Bereavement Knitting Charity
Recently Paul started a new private Facebook group, Handmade with Love for Angel Babies. Why begin a knitting charity? The heartbreaking story relayed on the Daddys with Angels website explains it. (Be sure to mute your computer before you visit this site – a song starts playing when you open the page.)
The story was about a pregnant mum who had gone into hospital and had sadly lost her baby. I don’t recall how far along the pregnancy was, but the word ‘tiny’ stuck in my head.
“Her partner had not been able to be there with her, as sometimes happens with a sudden loss, but as he walked into a room he was met with a sight that no one should see.
“Their baby had been placed in a box and just left on the window sill. There seemed a lack of compassion or maybe it was just routine to do this. Either way it showed a lack of respect for the baby or the emotions and feelings of the parents.
“The bay was tiny, too small to be wrapped up in a normal blanket or laid in a full sized cot, but there was no reason why the baby should have been treated like that.
“Something else needed to be done for these tiny Angel babies.”
To Paul, the solution was clear: recruit people to create burial layettes for tiny babies.
How You Can Help
If you live in the UK (especially if you live in the Northampton area) and want to get in on this fantastic cause, you have a couple of options.
If you enjoy using Facebook, you can join the Handmade with Love for Angel Babies group. This again is a closed group to respect the privacy of those who have suffered loss. In this group you can get inspiration as well as free knitting patterns.
Or, if you would prefer not to use Facebook, you can download many free knitting patterns for burial layettes directly from the Daddys with Angels website. (Again, mute your computer first if you don’t want to hear the embedded song.)
You can find drop-off locations in the knitting pattern files from the Daddys with Angels website, or you can send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also email questions or requests for more information to this address.
If you don’t live in the Northampton area and just want to knit for your own location, Paul encourages that as well! You can simply use the knitting patterns and donate to your own local hospital or funeral home. I know that knitters creating gifts for bereaved parents all over the UK and even the world would thrill Paul. (You can see some of the beautiful items knitters have created here.)
When someone suffers an unimaginable loss, we often struggle to think of a way to help. Knitting for a bereavement knitting charity like Homemade with Love for Angel Babies is one of the most beautiful ways I know to create some real support for grieving parents.