If you walk by the canal basin near to Cox’s Yard in Stratford-upon-Avon at the moment you will see some trees that are brightly decorated with wool. But what are they and why are they decorated like that? Well, they’ve been ‘yarn-bombed’ for charity!
The project is called ‘The Remembering Tree’ and it’s a fantastic idea created by local Stratford-upon-Avon-based charity Goodwill and Growth for Africa UK (or GAGA-UK for short).
Every year, at Christmas time, a tree is wrapped in hundreds of knitted or crocheted squares (made from synthetic wool so as not to damage the tree) to raise funds and awareness for their cause.
The basic premise is simple; you buy a square for £5 or a bauble for £25; this money goes to GAGA-UK to help support their work in Africa, and 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.
This year, with the support of local businesses, GAGA-UK has also been able to decorate a number of smaller trees as well as the main Remembering Tree. We were delighted to have been given the opportunity to sponsor our own tree, which is located right by the main tree (see picture above left – ours is the one on the right hand side!). In the lead up to last week’s yarn bombing we also crocheted and donated some squares, which have been included on the main tree. When I say we, I mean Lisa of course, as I don’t have the skills to be able to crochet!
We’re very proud to be able to make a small contribution to the fantastic work GAGA-UK do in Southern Africa (take a look at their website www.gaga-uk.org to see details of their latest projects).
Lisa and I visited 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 and education. One of the many things that we appreciate about GAGA’s work is their core objective to help communities have those opportunities they may not have otherwise had – opportunities that we take for granted. By supporting GAGA’s work in Africa, it’s Go Cotswolds’ way of making a contribution that will hopefully help to create a more equal environment for people to live in around the world.
If you’d like to support The Remembering Tree you can still do so – To donate £5 text GAGA15 £5 to 70070 or to donate online visit GAGA’s Virgin Money Giving webpage. Alternatively, head to http://www.gaga-uk.org/support-us/the-remembering-tree for more details for information on other ways you can donate.