Chick appeal bounces back

After a difficult couple of years, our Easter Chick Appeal bounced back with gusto this spring, thanks to the support of hundreds of knitters, donors and volunteers.

Women holding knitted chicks

Staff from Equilibrium stuffed thousands of chicks with eggs at Francis House.

Over 32,000 knitted chicks flew the nest from Francis House, flocking to various outlets to go on sale. So far, more than £40,000 has been raised!

Support came from near and far; some knitted chicks and bunnies travelled all the way from Switzerland, Spain, Canada and Uganda. All were filled with Creme Eggs, donated by local supermarkets, businesses, organisations and individuals.

The biggest contribution of eggs came from St Richard’s RC Primary School in Longsight, where pupils collected a staggering grand total of 2,921.

With fewer resources than pre-pandemic times, this year’s appeal hinged on the support and generosity of dozens of volunteers.

Chick champions

Employees from Equilibrium Financial Planning devoted two whole days to ‘stuffing’ thousands of chicks with Creme Eggs and preparing orders. These were mostly delivered by volunteers from The Co-operative Bank, who jam-packed their cars with crates of chicks before navigating their way to schools all around Greater Manchester.

Loyal hospice supporter Maureen Douglass voluntarily recruited 16 Marple businesses to sell chicks, who together raised more than £1,300.

Other volunteers included ‘Egg Taxis’, who collected and transported Creme Egg donations to the hospice; ‘Chick Hospital’ nurses, who lovingly revived hundreds of bedraggled chicks; and Manchester Rotary Club members, who travelled round schools collecting in the funds raised.

St Vincent’s Primary School in Altrincham were the top fundraisers this year, selling £1,261 worth of chicks and bunnies.

Buy a brood

But it wasn’t only schools where the chicks proved popular. Broods went on sale in all sorts of locations – chippies, record stores, cheesemongers, shoe shops… Even visitors to a Neurorehabilitation Unit were able to pick up a chick, as well as workers at the local Ambulance Call Handling Centre!

Rachel Nasiri, Fundraising Officer, said “We are so grateful to everyone who took part, however big or small the contribution. Whether you simply ordered a couple of bunnies through our online shop, donated a box of eggs through our Amazon Wishlist or took the time to knit a handful of chicks – our appeal is built on people like you and we truly value your support.”

If you would like to volunteer to help out or sell chicks for next year’s appeal, please email rachel.nasiri@francishouse.org.uk to register your interest. Knitters are welcome to send in their chicks and bunnies all year round.

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