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Chocolate filled crocheted crafts for preschool pupils raises over £120 for arthritis charity



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A former childminder knitted chocolate stuffed Easter-themed crafts for preschool children in Cold Ash.

Thatcham resident Renate Hughes, 67, popped down to Cold Ash Preschool on April 7 to give children crocheted Easter chicks with mini eggs inside them.

She created the crocheted crafts in aid of fundraising challenge March Knitting for Arthritis, an initiative launched by charity Versus Arthritis.

Renate Hughes with the Cold Ash Pre-School children and around 40 crocheted chicks
Renate Hughes with the Cold Ash Pre-School children and around 40 crocheted chicks

Mrs Hughes has also, herself, suffered from arthritis for 15 years.

“My husband also has it and lots of people I know,” she said, “so I thought I could raise some money."

The nationally observed knitting marathon challenges people to get as creative as they can.

Renate Hughes is donating them to the Pre-School whilst fundraising for March Knitting Versus Arthritis
Renate Hughes is donating them to the Pre-School whilst fundraising for March Knitting Versus Arthritis

“I was looking for a nice idea for what to knit and I asked the preschool if this would be a good idea,” she said.

“They loved it. I know the preschool and sometimes give craft stuff to them.”

Using a “stash of wool” that she had in the house, given to her from various people, she knitted a total of 44 Easter chicks and said that each one took around an hour-and-a-half to two hours.

She commented: “I have always been crafty ever since I was little. Arthritis has affected my hands as well as my walking so knitted is good to keep moving it helps with that.”

Pre-School leader Lucy Sandel with Renate Hughes, and Special Educational Needs Coordinator Robyn Hamilton
Pre-School leader Lucy Sandel with Renate Hughes, and Special Educational Needs Coordinator Robyn Hamilton

Mrs Hughes said it was wonderful to see the smiles on the faces of the children when she greeted them at the preschool.

“They loved it,” she said. “I was a child minder myself so I like doing things for children.

“The children just swarmed to talk to me, not because I had the eggs, they were hidden. It was wonderful to see their smiles.

Mrs Hughes said it was lovely to be with children again and put a smile on their faces
Mrs Hughes said it was lovely to be with children again and put a smile on their faces

“It was a very lovely day. We had lots of fun.”

She went on: “It raises awareness, not for people in my circle but for the people at the preschool and it raised money for research too”.

Helen Barnes from Cold Ash Preschool helped organise this event with Mrs Hughes and said it was lovely to have a visit from “such a kind lady”.

Renate Hughes with her chocolate filled crocheted chicks
Renate Hughes with her chocolate filled crocheted chicks

She said: “I have known [Mrs Hughes] for years from toddler group she used to run she asked if she could do this which we were delighted with. She came and spent an hour with the children.”

She said that the children were “very excited” about receiving the chocolate-filled Easter chicks and said that a couple children actually ate half of their chocolate eggs before they went home.

“The children all said thank you, they were really happy. It was a lovely idea,” she concluded.

Renate Hughes is donating them to the Pre-School whilst fundraising for March Knitting Versus Arthritis
Renate Hughes is donating them to the Pre-School whilst fundraising for March Knitting Versus Arthritis

Donations can be made to Mrs Hughes' Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/donate/2180754348743138/2208774472607792/?comment_id=2208988202586419

The charity itself has raised more than £120,000 for the cause so far.



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