Located in Bancroft Gardens by the theatre and alongside the path to Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon you’ll currently find some trees brilliantly decorated in colourful wool.

But why are they decorated like that? Well, they’ve been yarn-bombed!

They’ve been knitted their cosy winter coats by Stratford-upon-Avon based charity Goodwill and Growth for Africa UK (or GAGA-UK for short) and their wonderful volunteers for the annual Remembering Tree project.

Every year, at Christmas time, a tree is wrapped in hundreds of knitted or crocheted squares (all made from synthetic wool so as not to damage the tree) to raise funds and awareness for their cause.

The premise is simple; you buy a square for £5 or a bauble for £25 and this money goes to GAGA-UK to help support their work in Africa. In return, your square or bauble is dedicated to celebrating or remembering a loved one at Christmas – hence the name, The Remembering Tree! The dedication is put on the list next to the tree and is also published in the Stratford-upon-Avon Herald newspaper.

The main Remembering Tree (above left) in Bancroft Gardens is accompanied by the smaller yarn-bombed trees at Holy Trinity Church. These are sponsored by local companies like us and the Go Cotswolds tree is pictured to the right. Cool isn’t it?!

This is the third year we’ve had the opportunity to sponsor a tree and this year the Remembering Trees looked even more memorable in the covering of snow we had a the weekend – see the picture left and at the top of the page! 

We’re very proud to be able to make a contribution to GAGA-UK as we have such admiration for the work they do in Southern Africa. Take a look at the projects page on their website for details of the work that they do.

Lisa and I visited Southern Africa in 2013 and it had a profound effect on us. We had an incredible time visiting some stunning places across South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia but during our travels we soon came to realise just how fortunate we are to have been born in the UK and to have had the opportunities in life that we’ve had.

Many people we met in Southern Africa do not have such opportunities – not even having access to basic provisions such as shelter, health care, food, water and education. One of the many things we admire about GAGA-UK’s work is their core objective to help communities to get these provisions – provisions we take for granted on a daily basis. 

By supporting GAGA’s work in Africa it’s our way of making a small contribution to creating, what we hope is, a more equal environment for people to live in around the world. Especially Africa, and the work that GAGA-UK do really does make a difference to people’s lives there. 

If you’d like to donate to the The Remembering Tree you can still do so online by visiting GAGA-UK’s Virgin Money Giving webpage

Pictures c/o of Sarah @ GAGA-UK, Sheila Ellis and Facebook (Stratford-upon-Avon Group).