Starting our journey at the beginning of March 2020, at the outbreak of the COVID19 virus in the UK. Oakley Stitchers have proudly developed into a successful non profit organisation helping others in need.
For dates of our next face to face event, please visit the community tab.
Our founding member Caroline identified that there was a problem with Scrubs reaching our front line workers. There were desperate cry's for help around the country looking for help with scrubs to go under PPE as the pandemic started to grip the UK and the world.
With the UK in complete lockdown, production and purchase lines disabled, along with an unprecedented increase in the amount of staff needing lightweight, robust, washable and quick turn around garments. with all front line care providers desperate to keep all members of staff and their ever growing patient numbers as safe and comfortable as possible in a fast moving and totally unforeseeable situation. a perfect storm had arrived.
So after Buying some material and making a few sets found this was an EXPENSIVE way to help!
It started with an innocent post to our local Facebook group explaining what was happening how she was trying to help and asking for any donations of fabric/ bedding to help make this more affordable.
WELL.... the post went MAD!
There were offers of fabric, help, offers to sew, cut, crochet, donations and what can I do's, from all angles. The Angel Jill stepped in and rescued the situation from certain Facebook chaos! creating the start of our production and distribution team for the 100's of local people desperate to help.
Oakley Stitchers were born!
Oakley Stitchers have been busy bees during their first 6 months, making scrubs and many other items and accessories FREE to people who have needed our help, giving them a well-earned boost to know someone has created something especially for them. Sent with our love and good wishes. In addition, particularly over lockdown, the group provided many of our shielding, vulnerable or frustrated neighbours with a purpose – and a lifeline to a group of likeminded people with a similar philosophy.
As things start to become more settled and the desperation for the items we have been creating slows down (at least for the time being!) …
An inevitable thought creeps in ... what next?
The overwhelming feedback received from Stitchers, knitters, crochetters, cutters, stickers, peg-doll-decorators, and everyone else involved has remained consistent. No one wants it to stop!
In response to this and a cry for help from a cancer specialist nurse, we have been working behind the scenes talk various organisations and once the dementia trial and mask rush are over, we will be embarking on new exciting ventures. We have recently become affiliated with ‘Knitted Knockers’ (an alternative prosthetic) and are now creating and distributing these alongside drain bags, post op in our local surgical and cancer wards. We have a fantastic relationship with the lovely people at The Pink/Blue Place (a local cancer support network https://thepinkplace.org.uk) and staff at the Basingstoke cancer units, working with them to support survivors with bandanas, headscarves, care packages and caps for those beginning their ongoing journeys.
We made links with our local neonatal and maternity units and provide Knitted cannula holders, hats and blankets etc for premature and poorly babies.
and.. have a relationship with many care homes to help with support with their residents including comforters, zimmer frame bags etc...
A stitchers have their ear to the ground and therefore often come across our next projects often by chance. if you know of something or someone, we may be able to support please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org and we can see what we can do.
We meet up over Zoom once a week for a social evening which gives us all a chance to see each other and talk about the things we are doing, share information and support each other.
Once we are able, we’re hoping to start meeting up to share our knowledge, have a giggle and create more magic, however, this may still be a long way off. So for the mean time we have lots of creative options for Stitchers, Knitters, etc. Of any level with no pressure. All are welcome to become part of the most amazing group of people who have felt the benefit of feeling useful, creating some amazing things and have found some lovely new friendships during a challenging time.
we look forward to hearing from you.
We have provided so much to so many during our first 2 years it is truly incredible!
We cannot thank enough, everyone who requests our help, donates to help us achieve so much, the local businesses that continue to support us and most of all the totally amazing Stitchers who make this happen!!
Emma at Lucky Rainbow Boutique revamped our beautiful Stitcher to incorporate what we are about, some of the areas we support and to hopefully celebrate the waning effects of Covid in our world...
This has been a tough ride for so many people, for so many reasons. To have been even a tiny part of their journey has been an amazing experience and an honour for all of Stitchers who have been on the journey too.
Here are some of the ways we have been helping others....
Our knockers have provided courage, confidence, curves and a way to move forward for ladies that wonder if this is possible any more.
Aquaknockers take the journey onto the next step as the confidence grows and the healing process of both mind and body makes you bold enough to brave the water or start becoming more active and need a water/ wash friendly prosthetic.
Providing lap blankets, zimmer frame bags, and comforters to residents in care homes and wards have brought reassurance to many that may have lost theirs. The dementia lanyard badges have enabled understanding for those needing to support individuals be independent, as long as possible.
Worry creatures, twiddlers and our lanyard badges have helped many children including those with complex difficulties to refocus and help them and others understand the world around them.
Cancer and surgical wards in hospitals around the UK have been able to help their patients after surgery with the help of our pressure relief pillows, PICC line protectors and drain bags.
Neonatal and SCBU babies including those needing to stay in hospital after birth, and their families have been provided with traffic light hats, incubator blankets, bonding squares, canular covers, socks, baby nests.... etc.
We have helped with dog coats, snuggle mats and beds for local rescue centres. Hedgehog snuggle bags for injured or unwell hedgehogs.
We have also provided many other items to help individuals and organisations to provide support to others along the way too.
In our first 6 months, we organised, made and distributed over 1500 sets of scrubs, over 2000 masks, 1700 washbags and 1400 other items to over 200 organisations and individuals!
If you’d like to get involved, please contact us on:
by email on email@example.com
or via the email below...