Oakley Stitchers, all of its associaltes and Volunteers, would like to wish all visitors to this page, a positive, healthy and successful 2024!

Thank you for visiting our Oakley Stitcher's Web pages

We are a group of volunteers who use our hobbies and skills, to help others who need our support.

We are constantly coming across areas that our amazing Stitcher's would like to support and provide 1000's of items each year to individuals, organisations and hospitals around the UK.

Many of our Stitchers have found, having an outlet and purpose for something they enjoy to do, has been a great way to feel part of a community and useful again. Especially after all of the lock-downs etc...  Just by doing something they love! 

Having been up and running for several years now all Stitchers have definitely enjoyed growing with us over the years and remain very proud of what we have and continue to achieve.

We also  provide Knitted Knockers (affiliated with the founding group in the USA), Lucy's Gowns and our new Zip2PICC's . 

Below are some of the other ares that we support. With more information about each one,  found on their individual tabs at the top of this page.

We have many remote stitchers now, so please don't feel that you are excluded from joining in no matter where you are in the UK so please get in touch so we can work our how best to support you, supporting us.

Hoping you enjoy our site and look forward to hearing from you.

As a not for profit organisation. EVERY penny donated goes towards the work we do. So please be generous, if you can.

Gallery of areas we support

Well!!! we are also, now an award winning organisation!!!!

Nominated by the Lovely Elaine from Basingstoke Volunteer Association BVA  ... we won the Health and Wellbeing category, sponsored by Ely Lilly! 

This award is for every Stitcher out there who has knitted, sewn, crochetted or done a plethora of other important jobs. 

To all of the satellite groups and remote stitchers who have done their bit. 

And of course...all those who have donated and suported us to ensure we can financially achieve the amazing things we do, for so many. 

Enjoy that winner feeling folks, you all deserve it!

Scroll down further to read our full story...

or visit the tabs at the top, which will direct you to the area you would like to know more about.

Thanks for visiting, we look forward to finding out how we can help you or your department on your journey.

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How we came about

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 C.I.C organisation, helping others in need.

 

To maintain the work we do to help both communities and throuout the UK, we rely on the generosity of the public making donations, profit from our monthly craft groups and donations raised from stalls and events, grants and our go fund page, to support the amazing work that we do. 

We understand times are hard at the moment. However, if you are able to provide any support, please use the button below to donate whatever you can

Every penny goes towards stitchers. 

Thank you x

Our story so far.....

It started with a Global Covid 19 Outbreak......

Our founding member Caroline identified that there was a problem with scrubs reaching our front-line workers. There were desperate cries 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 number of staff needing lightweight, robust, washable and quick turnaround garments, we identified a need. All the front-line care providers desperately trying to keep themselves 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 we found this was an EXPENSIVE way to help!

It all started with an innocent post to our local Facebook group explaining what was happening, how we were 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, offers to sew, cut, crochet, donations and 'what can I do', from all angles. Our angel, Jill, stepped in and rescued the situation from certain Facebook chaos! This was the start of our production and distribution team for the 100s of local people desperate to help.

Oakley Stitchers was born!

So.... what next????

Oakley Stitchers were 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 knowing someone has created something especially for them. Everything 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 crept in ... what next?

The overwhelming feedback received from Stitchers, Knitters, Crocheters, 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 talking to various organisations. Once the dementia trial in association with Frimley Park Hospital and mask rush are over, we embarked on new exciting ventures. We became affiliated with ‘Knitted Knockers’ (an alternative prosthetic breast). We are now creating and distributing these alongside drain bags and pressure relief pillows for post op use to 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 journeys

We created links with our local neonatal and maternity units and others further afield, providing knitted cannula holders, hats and blankets etc. for premature and poorly babies.

We have a relationship with many care homes to help them support their residents including comforters, bags for zimmer frames, lap blanket and twiddle muffs.

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 oakleystitchers@yahoo.com and we will see what we can do.

While lockdowns were in place we met up over Zoom once a week for a social evening which gave us all a chance to see each other and talk about the things we are doing, share information and support each other. Once we were able, we started meeting up once a month with our Craft group, sharing our knowledge and providing a social support environment. 

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.

...What were up to now!!

Well, our group has surpassed all of our expectations. We have grown to an impressive 190 fantastic Stitchers, who are all active at different times to ensure a healthy hobby-life/work balance.  
We have also become a Community interest Company (C.I.C) in 2022/3! 

We have provided so much to so many during our first 2/3 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 logoto 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 Knitted Knockers have provided courage, confidence, curves and a way to move forward for those who 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 users feel bold enough to brave the water or start becoming more active and need a water friendly prosthetic.

Providing lap blankets, zimmer frame bags and comforters to residents in care homes and wards has brought  reassurance in the unprecedented situation.  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, cannula covers, socks, baby nests.... etc.

We have helped with dog coats, snuffle mats and beds for local rescue centres and hedgehog sleeping 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.

 

 

so .. whats new for 23/24 

With our organisation growing stronger and larger each year our aim is to continue with the amazing work we do, which continues to grow.

To enable this to  work to grow we are expanding our team to include project coordinators and group leaders. We hope that in turn, this will  support stitchers to recognise the additional amazing skills and talents they have, provide additional purpose and progression and encourage self worth of all involved.

Stitchers have started research and conversations with Stoke Mandeville Physiotherapists to initiate a stump cover project to support those who have had amputations.. so watch this space.

We are hoping to open at least 3 more open stitcher/ craft groups around Basingstoke and Deane which support stitchers and other crafters to enjoy a meeting place, enjoy their hobby with company and a cuppa and feel a bigger part of the Stitcher family. 

After being approached by many members of the public, we have  embarked on a series of Beginners  Machine Sewing Workshops to support others to learn and feel more confident. These will be both During the day and in the evening and mostly based around Basingstoke and Deane and the Hampshire/ Berkshire area .
if you are interested in attending or would like more information please see the current venues and dates in our community tab.

All profits from these workshops goes to fund the work of Stitchers

Did you know?

2020  we began

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 to support them during the COVID pandemic!

In 21/22 we diversified and provided over 20000 items to many other hospital wards, mental health organisations, animal rescue centres, nursing homes, community hubs etc

Stitchers have also started providing community open stitcher and craft groups  in Oakley, Kempshott and Winkebury , so far....

In 2022/23 we provided over 3000 knockers around the UK, 400 blankets were distributed to our local homeless organisations and to those needing them via our local community nurses. 

We started our Zip2PICC and Lucy gown projects with our volunteers standing at over 400.

Stitchers have provided 1000's of drain bags, pressure relief pillows and PICC line protectors to cancer, cardiac and general surcical wards, in over 12 Hospitals around the UK. 

15000 Hats canular covers, blankets, premature cardigans etc.. to neonatal/ maternity wards in 9 hospitals around the UK

Stitchers now run 7 open community groups around Basingstoke and Deane for people to get involved in what we do or just enjoy what they do with a bit of company.

You've seen a hint for what is in store for 2024. we really couldnt do this without the support of every person who gets involved by stitching, organising or donating... THANK YOU

 

If you’d like to request anything or get involved, please contact us on:

facebook @oakleystitchersandknittedknockers

by email on info@oakleystitchers.org.uk

 

or via the email below...

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Oakley Stitchers is a Community Interest Company (CIC) limited by guarantee (14711617)

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