Gosport great grandmother knits dozens of rainbow bears to raise funds for British Heart Foundation

DOZENS of rainbow bears wearing masks have been created with charity in mind by a Gosport great grandmother who loves to knit.

Monday, 10th August 2020, 4:54 pm
Updated Tuesday, 11th August 2020, 9:54 am
Sandra McAfee (76) from Gosport, has knitted more than 150 Covid-19 bears raising money for the British Heart Foundation. Picture: Sarah Standing (100820-2454)

Equipped with her trusty knitting needles, Sandra McAfee has been working hard to produce more than 140 little bears adorned with a rainbow symbolising hope for the future, a tiny face mask and the words ‘stay safe’.

The crafty 76-year-old has had plenty of orders for her colourful creations, and has raised more than £250 for the British Heart Foundation, which is very important to Sandra, who has a heart condition.

Bridgemary resident Sandra said: ‘I’m really pleased because when I started it was just something extra to do. They have just gone mad, once I showed somebody I was getting lots of orders.

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Sandra McAfee (76) from Gosport, has knitted more than 150 Covid-19 bears raising money for the British Heart Foundation. Picture: Sarah Standing (100820-2430)

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‘It gives me something to do and I always raise money for the British Heart Foundation. They’re just easy really and all the while somebody wants one I’ll do them - I always have some knitting on the go.’

Sandra, who owned Ann Louise Wool Shop in Portsmouth, usually makes about one of these knitted creatures each day.

There are no plans to hang up her wool any time soon, and Sandra has even knitted a little bear to give to her newest great-grandchild Robin, who is due to be born in October, to teach him about lockdown and the pandemic when he’s older.

Sandra McAfee (76) from Gosport, has knitted more than 150 Covid-19 bears raising money for the British Heart Foundation. Picture: Sarah Standing (100820-2427)

Donna Spriggs-Elliot, director of community fundraising at the British Heart Foundation, said: ‘We never cease to be amazed by the imaginative ways that the public find to raise money for us. We want to say a huge, heartfelt thank you to Sandra for her incredible effort, which will help fund our life-saving heart research.

‘Like many organisations, the Covid-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on our income, causing the temporary closure of our shops, the cancellation of fundraising events and the delay or pause of many charitable projects. As a result, our research budget is likely to drop by £50m this year.

‘Now more than ever, we need the support of people like Sandra so we can continue to improve the lives of the 7.4 million people in the UK living with heart and circulatory diseases.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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