Thousands of knitted items, made with love 

Molly Chambers, Project Development Manager, explains how National Energy Action was chosen as Woman’s Weekly’s charity of the year, and the difference it made to our clients’ lives…  

Living in fuel poverty is extremely difficult for anybody. We often hear from parents who face significant financial pressures. This has never been more obvious than during the cost-of-living crisis. It’s a terrifying prospect knowing that the heating could go off at any moment or realising your baby’s clothes might not fit for long. 

That’s why we were thrilled when Woman’s Weekly magazine chose us as their charity of the year. Every year they pick a cause where their readers, who are keen crafters, can make items that will make a difference to people’s lives. 

The magazine ran several articles encouraging their readers to knit and crochet items including cardigans, baby blankets and gloves as well as handmade toys, for us to give out at community events. The response was phenomenal leading to us receiving over 1,000 items. 

Every week, we’d receive even more items which we’d send out to our teams across the country who would hand them out at events or give them to our trusted partners. 

We got so much positive feedback from organisations that we shared the items with. One said: ‘The team was over the moon to receive a very large box of beautiful hand-knitted cardigans. They got to work straight away, sorting them into sizes and colours, and packing these into paper bags for families to come and collect. Many of the families that use our centres live on extremely low incomes, so being able to buy hand-knitted items for their babies, is just not an option. All the parents who were gifted the cardigans were so thankful to receive such beautiful items for their babies, and it was clear these had been made with love! A BIG thank you from the Brixton Stockwell Better Start Team; you have helped to make a difference by showing you care and have put a smile on the faces of many parents!’  

Our Energy Advisers also identified new parents who contacted us through our Warm and Safe Homes Advice Service. We were able to provide a pack of bespoke baby hand-knitted items, room thermometer cards and information leaflets. One recipient was Leah*, who was initially referred to our service by her local Groundwork to receive a benefits check. Leah, a single mum, lives with her four children, including her two-month-old baby.  She received energy advice, fuel voucher support and fuel debt relief as well as beautiful items to help keep her baby warm. 

The partnership with Woman’s Weekly even benefited their readers. One sent in a handwritten letter with her knits. ‘I’m 91 and I only have a few friends. It can be hard to get out. I really enjoy knitting for such a good cause. Thank you.’ 

Now, the thousands of items are with their grateful new owners and the campaign has ended. The magazine featured a final article about our work and raising awareness of our work to their readers, including the Priority Services Register, which many may be eligible for. We would like to thank Woman’s Weekly for choosing us as their charity of the year and to every single reader who gave up their time to make such a difference. 

The energy crisis is far from over and we’re always looking for new partnerships. If you think there’s a way you can help, please speak to our Fundraising and Partnerships team by emailing  

*Name changed for client anonymity