Saturday, 31 January 2015



So, there I am on a cold October morning, preparing to take the children out for a Story Trail in the 'watch your breath make cloud shapes' air. 

It's very chilly, so I put on my big coat, gloves, hat, and off course, my lovely 'cwtch in warm' scarf. 

I go to get the children.

It's tough times everywhere, but particularly in low income areas and the funding for my work places me mostly storytelling in areas such as the Heads of the Valleys or the top of the Rhondda. Money is tight.

Whilst I am wrapped up snug, increasingly I have found that the children do not have gloves, nor hats, no scraves nor mittens.

As I drove along the M4 back home, I cried. I couldn't believe that right here on our doorsteps children are cold. 

How can you possibly have the same access to the opportunity for learning if you are freezing cold? 

I thought of the words of Ghandi ...
Be the change you want to see in the world.

When I got home, I opened a project on facebook called:

It's a simple concept. If you knit, are in a knitting group, or if you have a family member, neighbour or friend who is always knitting and would like a 'cause' to knit for, tell them about my project.

Pat Price, the Headteacher at PenPych Primary School, Treherbert, has very kindly agreed to be the central collection point for the project and your woollies are then disseminated to children as and when they come for outdoors activities. They get to keep them.

Funny thing is. Do you know what has happened? 

Woollies have become a 'thing'. A trendy must have accessory! It's very exciting when they arrive.

Staff have started being more woolly aware, children walk up to me in break times to show me their hats and scarves, pleased as punch.

I can not begin to tell you how much that warms my heart.

So here's the next phase! We are going to learn to knit and make out own woollies so that we can ... 

next winter


There is no funding for Knit a Child Warm. 
I do it because I can.

We have had boxes of beautifully hand made woollies from Knitting Groups all over the UK. Bless you. You have kept little fingers, heads and necks tucked away from the cold.

Because there is no funding , please provide for your own wool and postage to school from wherever you are. 

This is where you will be sending your lovely hand knitted things, to a little school tucked into the foot of the Rhigos Mountain in South Wales.

Miss Patricia Price

Head Teacher
PenPych Community Primary School
Blaenrhondda Road
Ty Newydd
CF42 5SD

& to finish this blog post, I will leave you with a story that no doubt you as well as I, were told as a child ...

The Little Match Girl

Most terribly cold it was; it snowed, and was nearly quite dark, and evening-- the last evening of the year. In this cold and darkness there went along the street a poor little girl, bareheaded, and with naked feet. When she left home she had slippers on, it is true; but what was the good of that? They were very large slippers, which her mother had hitherto worn; so large were they; and the poor little thing lost them as she scuffled away across the street, because of two carriages that rolled by dreadfully fast.

One slipper was nowhere to be found; the other had been laid hold of by an urchin, and off he ran with it; he thought it would do capitally for a cradle when he some day or other should have children himself. So the little maiden walked on with her tiny naked feet, that were quite red and blue from cold. She carried a quantity of matches in an old apron, and she held a bundle of them in her hand. Nobody had bought anything of her the whole livelong day; no one had given her a single farthing.

She crept along trembling with cold and hunger--a very picture of sorrow, the poor little thing!

The flakes of snow covered her long fair hair, which fell in beautiful curls around her neck; but of that, of course, she never once now thought. From all the windows the candles were gleaming, and it smelt so deliciously of roast goose, for you know it was New Year's Eve; yes, of that she thought.

In a corner formed by two houses, of which one advanced more than the other, she seated herself down and cowered together. Her little feet she had drawn close up to her, but she grew colder and colder, and to go home she did not venture, for she had not sold any matches and could not bring a farthing of money: from her father she would certainly get blows, and at home it was cold too, for above her she had only the roof, through which the wind whistled, even though the largest cracks were stopped up with straw and rags.

Her little hands were almost numbed with cold. Oh! a match might afford her a world of comfort, if she only dared take a single one out of the bundle, draw it against the wall, and warm her fingers by it. She drew one out. "Rischt!" how it blazed, how it burnt! It was a warm, bright flame, like a candle, as she held her hands over it: it was a wonderful light. It seemed really to the little maiden as though she were sitting before a large iron stove, with burnished brass feet and a brass ornament at top. The fire burned with such blessed influence; it warmed so delightfully. The little girl had already stretched out her feet to warm them too; but--the small flame went out, the stove vanished: she had only the remains of the burnt-out match in her hand.

She rubbed another against the wall: it burned brightly, and where the light fell on the wall, there the wall became transparent like a veil, so that she could see into the room. On the table was spread a snow-white tablecloth; upon it was a splendid porcelain service, and the roast goose was steaming famously with its stuffing of apple and dried plums. And what was still more capital to behold was, the goose hopped down from the dish, reeled about on the floor with knife and fork in its breast, till it came up to the poor little girl; when--the match went out and nothing but the thick, cold, damp wall was left behind. She lighted another match. Now there she was sitting under the most magnificent Christmas tree: it was still larger, and more decorated than the one which she had seen through the glass door in the rich merchant's house.

Thousands of lights were burning on the green branches, and gaily-colored pictures, such as she had seen in the shop-windows, looked down upon her. The little maiden stretched out her hands towards them when--the match went out. The lights of the Christmas tree rose higher and higher, she saw them now as stars in heaven; one fell down and formed a long trail of fire.

"Someone is just dead!" said the little girl; for her old grandmother, the only person who had loved her, and who was now no more, had told her, that when a star falls, a soul ascends to God.

She drew another match against the wall: it was again light, and in the lustre there stood the old grandmother, so bright and radiant, so mild, and with such an expression of love.

"Grandmother!" cried the little one. "Oh, take me with you! You go away when the match burns out; you vanish like the warm stove, like the delicious roast goose, and like the magnificent Christmas tree!" And she rubbed the whole bundle of matches quickly against the wall, for she wanted to be quite sure of keeping her grandmother near her. And the matches gave such a brilliant light that it was brighter than at noon-day: never formerly had the grandmother been so beautiful and so tall. She took the little maiden, on her arm, and both flew in brightness and in joy so high, so very high, and then above was neither cold, nor hunger, nor anxiety--they were with God.

But in the corner, at the cold hour of dawn, sat the poor girl, with rosy cheeks and with a smiling mouth, leaning against the wall--frozen to death on the last evening of the old year. Stiff and stark sat the child there with her matches, of which one bundle had been burnt. "She wanted to warm herself," people said. No one had the slightest suspicion of what beautiful things she had seen; no one even dreamed of the splendor in which, with her grandmother she had entered on the joys of a new year.

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