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.

Sacks of knitted chicks arrive at Francis House

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.

Thanks to a terrific effort by knitters up and down the country, we received a whopping total of more than 53,000 knitted chicks and bunnies this year - a new record! We would like to thank everyone who took the time to get involved in our appeal. Whether you knitted, collected eggs, sold chicks or bought bunnies, your support means such a lot to us - especially in times like these.

Unfortunately due to the closure of schools and businesses, our total raised will be significantly impacted this year and it will take longer than usual to round up the funds. However we look forward to your help in making Easter 2021 all the more successful!

Last Year

In 2019 we received an incredible 50,000 knitted chicks and bunnies hand-crafted by more than 700 kind-hearted knitters. Along with the incredible generosity of the public who donated tens of thousands of creme eggs – the campaign raised over £74,000! The majority were delivered to the hospice and we were assisted by scores of volunteers to help repair, sort and stuff with creme eggs.

Easter Chick Bonanza for Francis House

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?

The deadline for the 2020 appeal has now passed, but there’s no time like the present to start knitting for Easter 2021!

You can 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.

Ladies knitting Easter chicks for Francis House
Ladies knitting Easter chicks for Francis House

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. 

The deadline for this Easter’s Creme Egg donations has now passed, but please remember to collect for us next year!

Donating creme eggs for Francis House
Donating creme eggs to Francis House

Sell

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.

Selling knitted chicks for Francis House
Selling knitted chicks for Francis House

Volunteer

Picking up eggs

We contacted lots of supermarkets around Greater Manchester and Cheshire asking for Creme Eggs, but we need help collecting all the donations. We look 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.

Egg stuffing

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.

Chick Hospital

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.

Chick Deliveries

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? Watch this space for dates and events in 2021…

Download this year's patterns

We have both knitting and crochet patterns available for chicks and bunnies. Download yours below!

So far we have received:

  • Creme Eggs 40,952
  • Knitted Chicks 53,013

Thank You For Your Donations