Stratford-upon-Avon looks and feels so Christmassy at the moment!
The beautiful Christmas lights were switched on in mid-November, and then last weekend saw thousands of visitors flock to the third annual Victorian Christmas Market for some 19th Century-style Christmas shopping!
But along with the traditional Christmas trees around town, and the Tree of Lights (pictured left), another sort of tree has become synonymous with Christmas in Stratford-upon-Avon over the last few years – The Remembering Tree.
GAGA UK and The Remembering Tree
GAGA UK (which stands for Goodwill and Growth for Africa UK) is a small charity based in Stratford-upon-Avon. It holds various events and activities throughout the year to raise money to support poor and disadvantaged communities in southern Africa, especially in the areas of healthcare and wellbeing, and early child development and education.
One event that GAGA UK organises is the annual ‘Woolly Winter Wonderland, whereby the trees on Bancroft Gardens and outside Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon are ‘yarnbombed’.
Sponsored by local businesses and donors, trees are wrapped with brightly coloured crocheted squares to add some fun and colour to the dreary winter weather! In the New Year, the squares are washed and repurposed to make blankets for children in Africa.
The Remembering Tree itself is a bigger tree, similarly covered in a crocheted coat. In exchange for a small donation to the charity, individuals have the opportunity to hang a star or bauble on this tree in memory of a loved one.
Watch this video to see how it’s done!
Support GAGA UK
If you’d like to see the Remembering Tree and GAGA UK’s Woolly Winter Wonderland, just head down to Bancroft Gardens and Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon – it’s free!
Make a one-off or regular donation to support GAGA UK here: https://www.gaga-uk.org/donate/donate/5/credit-card