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Knit for Wellbeing Call

Tuesday January 26 2021

The designer of a knitted toy, which was created for a CrossReach initiative, is hoping many more will be knitted to help support children’s wellbeing during the current lockdown.

Calamari SHANARRI (CAL) was created by Tanya Anderson for the Church of Scotland’s social care provider in 2017, in support of the Scottish Government’s Getting it Right for Every Child initiative. The name is an acronym for the eight wellbeing indicators, one for each leg of the octopus: Safe, Healthy, Achieving, Nurtured, Active, Respected, Responsible and Included.

More than 200 CALs were knitted in response to the campaign, mostly by members of knitting groups who heard about it through Church of Scotland organisations. The toys were given to primary schools and nurseries, as a tool to help children engage with the wellbeing indicators.

Such was the interest in CAL that Tanya, a member of Marchmont St Giles Church in Edinburgh, has formed a social enterprise to promote the project, extending it to include a Wellbeing Game Book. This was published before Christmas and should have been in schools in time for the New Year – but then the latest lockdowns were imposed, meaning most children have not been physically in school so far this year.

In response, Tanya has launched the #KnitWellbeing2021 campaign. She says: “Did anyone get knitting needles and 'how to learn to knit' kits for Christmas? Expert knitters may now have finished knitting the Christmas scarves and jumpers. Looking for a new knitting pattern? Look no further! The more CALs that are knitted now the more will be available to give to schools, maybe as an Easter gift?”

For more information on the project and the book, and instructions on how to make a CAL, visit https://www.startatthebeginning.co.uk/ 

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