Remembrance Day knitted poppies boost funds for Woundcare4Heroes
Nurse Maria Hobbert and her team of helpers have raised thousands of pounds for Woundcare4Heroes over the last couple of years with their beautiful, red knitted poppies.
The volunteers have been busy again with their knitting needles and crochet hooks to create more than 800 colourful poppies to sell in London’s Portobello Market on Friday November 2 and Roman Road Market on Saturday November 3.
Maria, a nurse at Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, began knitting poppies with her mum and a small group of nurses in 2015 to raise funds for three charities: Woundcare4Heroes, Royal British Legion and their local horse sanctuary.
After reading about a Woundcare4Heroes campaign to help an amputee ex-soldier walk again, Maria decided to recruit more helpers. With the veteran as an inspiration, she placed adverts in knitting magazines and hobby shops – and the response was amazing. More than 70 people responded from as far afield as Sweden and Greece.
For Remembrance Day 2017, some of the poppies they created were made into a wreath to lay on the memorial of the 49th (West Riding) Infantry Division at Fontenay-Le-Pesnel, Normandy – a D-Day battle site.
Their poppy-making has blossomed into an annual fundraiser. Money raised has helped to fund special equipment for one veteran and pioneering surgery for another. This year a team of about 40, including the March Knitting Group, have been busy knitting and crocheting poppies since February.
Maria said: “I started knitting the poppies as I find it amazing that something as simple as a ball of wool and some spare time can literally change someone’s life.” She paid tribute to the “amazing, brave, selfless” people injured in active service, saying they deserved better support from their country.
Claire Stephens, chief executive of Woundcare4Heroes, said: “Maria and her team are wonderful supporters of Woundcare4Heroes not only in raising money to help our veterans on specific campaigns but also raising awareness of our charity through their poppy stalls. We are very grateful.”
Woundcare4Heroes is the UK’s only specialist charity for veteran wound care. It helps ex-service men and women with amputations, burns and complex ballistics injuries get the ongoing care and support they need. It works in partnership with the NHS and other charities.