Join in our annual appeal, in which thousands of knitted Easter chicks filled with a creme egg are sold to raise funds for Francis House.
Every year, thousands of little woolly chicks and bunnies flock into Francis House, knitted by crafty supporters from across the world.
About the Easter chick knit appeal
The chicks are filled with a donated chocolate egg each and sold in schools, stores and businesses all across Greater Manchester to raise funds for the hospice.
Hundreds of knitters put their needles to work for Easter 2019, producing more than 50,000 chicks and bunnies between them. Along with the incredible generosity of the public who donated tens of thousands of creme eggs – the campaign raised over £74,000!
Use the interactive map on the right to find your nearest creme egg drop off point, as well as locations to purchase knitted chicks.
Creme Egg drop-off point
Chicks sold here
Want to get involved?
Knit or crochet for us
Put your needles to work and knit up as many little chicks as you can manage. Chicks can be as colourful as you please: the quirkier, the better! We also have a crochet pattern you can follow. Feel free to get creative and customise your chicks with knitted hats, scarves and accessories. However, simple traditional chicks are very welcome too!
If you fancy something a little different, why not try out the pattern for an Easter bunny?
Please send in your finished chicks by March 16th 2020.
You can drop off your chicks at the fundraising office (open Mon-Fri, 9 am – 5 pm) our post them in to: ‘Fundraising Office, Francis House Children’s Hospice, 390 Parrswood Road, Didsbury, Manchester, M20 5NA’, marking your parcel ‘Easter Chicks’.
We are often asked by knitters whether they need to include the Creme Eggs in their parcel of chicks. The answer is no – it’s absolutely fine to send the chicks empty. However, if you do wish to include eggs or make a donation towards their cost, it’s always hugely appreciated! We appeal to supermarkets, businesses and local individuals to donate or collect eggs for us, but every year it gets more and more difficult to obtain the quantity we need.
Donate or collect creme eggs for us
Every chick we receive needs pairing with a chocolate egg (Cadbury’s Crème Egg sized).
Help us source the thousands we need by setting up a collection in your workplace, school or at home, by purchasing a box or two to drop off at the hospice, or by making a donation towards the cost of the eggs. We would ideally like donations of eggs by 20th March 2020.
We are always looking for more venues to take an order of chicks to sell. Schools, nurseries, offices or shops can be great selling points. We will supply you with as many chicks (or bunnies) as you wish, along with collection tubs and posters.
Picking up eggs
We’ve contacted lots of supermarkets around Greater Manchester and Cheshire asking for Creme Eggs, but we need help collecting all the donations. We’re looking for ‘Egg Taxi’ volunteers to cover their local area – picking up eggs from local stores as and when they are offered – and then dropping them off at the hospice whenever is convenient.
We currently need Egg Taxi volunteers for the following areas:
- Manchester City Centre
- Wilmslow/Alderley Edge
Filling 50,000 plus chicks with a Creme Egg each can be very time-consuming for our small fundraising team. We need volunteers to fill chicks with eggs and count out orders in the run up to Easter.
We can arrange ‘stuffing sessions’ for corporate groups to come in make use of their staff volunteer hours. We also arrange weekly drop-in stuffing sessions in the lead up to Easter. Come along, meet new people and ‘get stuffing’ together – unlimited tea and biscuits supplied!
If you would like to help, please let us know which weekdays would work best for you and we will let you know when an ‘egg-stuffing session’ is coming up.
Some chicks arrive a little crumpled from their journey in the post or are too big to firmly hold an egg. Our ‘Chick Hospital’ needs volunteers to administer stitches, fix broken beaks or perform googly eye transplants. Chick fixers can carry out a shift either on site in our fundraising office in Didsbury, or at home in your spare time. We can provide all the bits and bobs you’ll need.
We’d also welcome help with dropping off orders to many venues across Greater Manchester. Would you be willing to spare some time to deliver chicks around a certain area? It doesn’t need to be a bulk delivery; many of our selling points place further top-up orders, which can be cost-inefficient to deliver ourselves. Perhaps you live in Didsbury but travel to a certain area regularly (or vice versa), and could pick up chicks to deliver on your way? If you’d be willing to help, just let us know the area, and we’ll get in touch if/when we need you!
Stalls & Collections
Would you be willing to man a stall selling chicks, or help collect money to buy Creme Eggs? We need volunteer stallholders who could spare a few hours to sell chicks at the following events:
- Saturday March 21st 2020, 10am – 2pm: Craft Fair at Romiley Methodist Church Hall
- Friday 10th April 2020, 4pm – 8pm: Worker Bee Market at Foodie Footie Fridays, Cheadle Town Football Club
- Further dates to be announced!
We also need volunteer bucket collectors to help raise money towards the cost of Creme Eggs on the following dates (for as many or as few hours as you like!)
Download this year's patterns
We have both knitting and crochet patterns available for chicks and bunnies. Download yours below!
Please note, we would like to receive your donation of chicks by March 16th 2020.
So far we have received:
- Creme Eggs 27, 705
- Knitted Chicks 43, 031