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TV star Lesley Joseph gets crafty for The Big Knit

Published on 07 November 2014 12:01 AM

TV star Lesley Joseph gets crafty for The Big Knit

Actress lends her support to Age UK and innocent's campaign 

Actress Lesley Joseph, best-known for her role as Dorien Green in TV sitcom ‘Birds of a Feather', has her knitting needles and wool at the ready for Age UK and innocent's Big Knit to help older people stay warm and well in the winter.

Now in its 11th year, The Big Knit returns and budding milliners across the UK are being called upon to get inventive and knit miniature woolly hats to adorn innocent smoothie bottles, which will be sold in stores nationwide from February 2015. For each be-hatted smoothie sold, innocent will donate 25p to help Age UK fund national and local winter projects.

Lesley said: 'I've been a supporter of Age UK for many years and have seen first-hand the harsh realities many older people face, particularly in the winter months. Age UK and innocent's Big Knit is such a simple way to help make a difference. As a keen knitter myself, I know how easy and enjoyable the task can be and would encourage everyone, from novice to expert knitter, to give a little hat a go!'

Age UK is calling on knitters across the UK to get as many hats as possible to them by 12th December 2014 and are calling on knitters of all abilities and anyone wanting to give it a go to join in.

For over a decade, budding knitters across the UK have been supporting Age UK and innocent's Big Knit by creating funky little hats as part of Age UK's Spread the Warmth campaign. Each winter, one older person dies every seven minutes[i] because of the cold weather. With over a decade of support from knitters up and down the country, The Big Knit has raised vital funds to support local and national winter projects to help older people keep warm in winter.

Lesley Joseph is the latest celebrity to support the campaign. Past supporters have included Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Sienna Miller, Heston Blumenthal, Sir Paul Smith, Lulu Guinness, Eliza Doolittle and Stephen Fry.

Last year alone, more than a million hats were lovingly created, with designs including fruit, soldiers, peas in a pod, cupcakes and an ice cream cone topped with a classic flake.

This year, knitters are being inspired to take part with patterns including a sheep, giant squid, fez hat, a hippie and a royal baby.

Laurie Boult, Head of Fundraising at Age UK, said: 'The knitting deadline is nearly upon us and we're calling on everyone to get involved and help us collect as many little hats as possible. Winter can be a really difficult time of year for many older people, so we're hugely grateful to all our inspiring knitters who are enabling Age UK to keep older people warm and well in winter.'

Jamie Sterry, innocent drinks, said: 'The clock is ticking to get hats in for The Big Knit and we hope more people than ever join in. The Big Knit is a fantastic way to get creative, knit a little hat to adorn an innocent smoothie bottle and raise money for Age UK to help older people stay warm in winter. We're massively grateful to everyone who takes part and helps make this year's campaign a huge success.'

For more information on the Big Knit and hat designs go to or contact Age UK at Knitted hats need to be completed and sent to Age UK by 12th December to Age UK, 7th Floor, One America Square, 17 Crosswall, London, EC3N 2LB.

Knitters are also being encouraged to share their hat creations on social media tagging #bigknit. For those who don't fancy making a hat themselves, a £3 donation can be made to Age UK by texting 'knit' to 70004[ii].

 Lesley Joseph image (JPG 10 KB)opens link in new window




Notes to Editors

Media contact: Marilena Luxmoore

Tel: 020 3033 1204

Out of hours: 07071 243 243

Age UK

We work with our national partners, Age Scotland, Age Cymru and Age NI and our local Age UK partners in England (together the Age UK Family). We also work internationally for people in later life as a member of the DEC and with our sister charity Help Age International.

Age UK believes that everyone should have the opportunity to make the most of later life, whatever their circumstances. We provide free information, advice and support to over six million people; commercial products and services to over one million customers; and research and campaign on the issues that matter to people in later life. Our work focuses on five key areas: money matters, health and well being, home and care, work and training and leisure and lifestyle.

Age UK is a charitable company limited by guarantee and registered in England (registered charity number 1128267 and company number 6825798). Age Concern England and Help the Aged (both registered charities), and their trading and other associated companies merged on the 1st April 2009. Together they have formed the Age UK Group ("we"). Charitable services are offered through Age UK and commercial products are offered by the Charity's trading companies, which donate their net profits to Age UK (the Charity).

About innocent

Launched thirteen years ago, innocent is the number one smoothie brand in the UK. We sell over two million pure fruit smoothies each week in 15,000 outlets - everywhere from Boots to Sainsbury's to your local deli. Our range has expanded to include: smoothies in little bottles and big cartons; smoothies and juice for kids; a refreshing not-from-concentrate juice range; and veg pots, a range of quick and tasty meals. The team has grown from three to 250 people who work across Europe (with products are available in 15 different countries). We turn over £200 million each year.

As a business we want to make it easy for people to do themselves some good. And to leave the planet a little bit better than we found it. This is reflected in everything we do from the use of green electricity at Fruit Towers, to sourcing fruit from places that go the extra mile in terms of looking after the people that work on the farms, and the environment. As of 2006 we are proud to say that all our bananas come from Rainforest Alliance accredited farms. We donate 10% of profits to charity, mainly to the innocent foundation, which funds NGOs in the countries where fruit is sourced.

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Last updated: Oct 20 2022

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