Have you been down to Bancroft Gardens in Stratford-upon-Avon recently? Some of the trees in this lovely waterside park, adjacent to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, have been “yarn-bombed”!
What is yarn-bombing?
Yarn-bombing is like harmless, temporary graffiti – trees, benches, statues, sculptures and other objects in the public eye are (often anonymously) wrapped with handmade knitting (or crochet!) in an effort to add some colour and fun to an otherwise dull or ordinary landscape.
In Stratford-upon-Avon, the trees on Bancroft Gardens have been yarn-bombed every December for the past 6 years. Why? It’s all to raise awareness and funds for a locally based charity called Goodwill and Growth for Africa (GAGA-UK).
GAGA-UK is a small charity, based in Stratford-upon-Avon, that raises funds to support projects in southern Africa that offer “hand ups, not hand outs” to communities and children affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic, poverty and violence. It’s a charity that Go Cotswolds has proudly supported since we first started trading.
Each year – coinciding with World AIDS Day on December 1st – GAGA UK decorates trees on Bancroft Gardens with brightly coloured knitted squares, creating a “Woolly Winter Wonderland” that really brightens up the wintry River Avon! Some of the squares, which are made from synthetic yarn that does not damage the trees, were made by women in African communities, and some were made by local crafters.
The Remembering Tree
One larger tree is designated as “The Remembering Tree“. The woollen squares on this tree, as well as handmade woollen baubles adorning the branches, can be sponsored by individuals who wish to remember a loved one at Christmas – perhaps someone who has passed away, or who will not be around for Christmas this year. Other, smaller trees are sponsored by local companies and organisations – like Go Cotswolds!
Donate to GAGA UK
If you would like to make a donation to support the vital work of GAGA UK, you can do so via their Virgin Money Giving page, here.