Oct 292014

24 hour knitting challenge – raising funds for the desperate & disadvantaged.

Knitting groups – in cafes, libraries, on-line – are multiplying these days, as the therapeutic and creative value of knitting, and broader ranges of wools and patterns, are appreciated by young and old of both sexes. But could they knit for 24 hours with only a 5 min break each hour? Edinburgh Direct Aid is challenging knitters to raise sponsorship funds by doing exactly that (individually or in teams) in the weekend of 15/16 Nov – just in time to complete all those Christmas presents, or half-finished projects. This is in memory of their well-loved supporter Sister Margaret Duncan who completed this test of endurance on her own on 16th Nov 2009, at the age of 92, raising an extraordinary £12,000 for the disadvantaged children in Bosnia.

The RT Hon Lord Provost, Councillor Donald Wilson, said he hoped the challenge would encourage those who might not normally fundraise to give it a go. He said: “The ‘knitathon’ charity challenge is a great idea and I really do hope that the event raises awareness and understanding of what Direct Aid does. While bungee jumps and marathons are fantastic fundraising challenges for those looking for an adrenaline rush or to raise their fitness, for many people such physical challenges are not an option. Nonstop crafting is something many older and novice knitters might like to challenge themselves to do, alone or with friends, in order to raise money for a good cause.”

To find out more, take part, or sponsor a knitter, see www.edinburghdirectaid.org.

Edinburgh Direct Aid is a registered Scottish charity founded in 1992 originally to bring humanitarian aid to victims of the war in Bosnia by driving convoys of relief supplies from the UK. Since then it has maintained an active role in Bosnia supporting those in need for whom there remain limited social services – in particular disabled children. The charity has extended its activities over the years to many other places of need, bringing immediate relief from specific disasters such as earthquakes, and long term support of training programs, workshops, clinics, and day centres. Most recently their focus has been on Syrian refugees in Lebanon, providing humanitarian relief of clothing, food and medicine, and supporting the setting up of schools for the children.

Edinburgh Direct Aid is an all-volunteer charity, and uses no professional fundraisers. Volunteers travel out to make direct contact with recipients, building up partnerships with local charities, developing friendships, and expanding their knowledge and understanding of the local problems. Their prime objective is that all the money they raise goes directly to those who need it most.

Edinburgh Direct Aid now asks that all knitters – experts or beginners (this will certainly mean they get plenty of practice) – rise to this big personal challenge in the same way, and so inspire their friends and relations to contribute to helping those in desperate need.


NB one of the participants in the knitathon will be knitting a sweater just like those worn by Sophie Gråbøl in the famous TV series ‘The Killing’, which will be put up for auction. Other knitters are happy to take commissions.