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Calling all knitters. Help make the biggest ever Big Knit for Age UK.

25 October 2016

Age UK Reading is calling on nimble-fingered knitters in the area to get their needles clicking at double the speed to make Age UK and innocent’s Big Knit the biggest event yet.

Now in its 13th year, budding knitters are being challenged to reach a whopping target of two million miniature woolly hats. The colourful creations will adorn innocent smoothie bottles, and for each be-hatted smoothie sold, innocent will donate 25p to help Age UK fund national and local projects that keep older people warm and well in winter.

Matt Taylor, Chief Officer of Age UK Reading said: “We are calling on local knitters to get as many hats as possible to us by January 15th.  As the smoothie bottles don’t go on sale until October 2017 there’s even more time for knitters to keep sending hats in throughout the summer to help Age UK reach the bumper target.”

Each winter, one older person dies needlessly every seven minutes because of the cold . Every hat donated to Age UK Reading will help fund local services such as Befriending, Social clubs, and Information and Advice.
Last year alone, more than 800,000 hats were lovingly created, with designs including the Wombles and Mr Men, cupcakes, colouring pencils, lots of animals and not forgetting the traditional bobble hat.

Sim Viney, innocent drinks, said: “We have had such great support for the Big Knit over the years, we are positive knitters across the country will take the challenge to make this year’s event the biggest ever. Even if you’ve never knitted a stich, creating a little hat is a great way to start and won’t take long. We’re massively grateful to everyone who joins in and helps make this year’s campaign a huge success.”

For more information on The Big Knit contact Age UK Reading on 0118 950 2480. Please send completed hats to Age UK Reading at 42 Portman Rd, Reading, RG30 1EA.

The hat knitting pattern is available to download below, or contact us on the numbers above.

Beginners knitting pattern for download

Intermediate knitting pattern for download

Advanced knitting pattern for download


Notes to Editors

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 in 1999, innocent is the UK and Europe’s number one smoothie brand.  We sell natural, healthy products – smoothies in little and big bottles; smoothies and juice for kids; a refreshing range of not-from-concentrate juice and coconut water, and bubbles: our lightly sparkling fruit juices. The team has grown from three to 350 people who work across Europe (with products available in 15 different countries). We turn over more than £200 million each year.
We believe that everything we make should taste good and do good too. So we try to make it easier for people to do themselves some good, and to leave the planet a little bit better than how 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 all the people that work on the farms and the environment. 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 supports charities working all over the world so that they can help the world's hungry.

  Age UK estimate using a ten-year average 2004/5 to 2014/15, from Excess Winter Mortality in England and Wales, ONS, November 2015. The winter period is defined by the Office for National Statistics as December to March.