Children’s Charity Say Thanks After Being Inundated with Knitted Elephants

by Fraser Clarke

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018

ONE of the country’s best loved children’s charities has been inundated with offers to help following a recent call out for knitters.

Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity (ECHC) posted on its social media pages to ask followers for help in providing knitted elephants form part of the memory boxes given to families who have lost a child.

The charity fund the boxes which are filled with a child’s favourite items and their hand or foot prints as well paintings and written reflections of the time the family had with their child.  It is something that the family can add to and siblings often also receive a box where they can keep their own memories of their brother or sister.

Katrina Marshall, Clinical Nurse Specialist for the Children & Young People’s Palliative Care team was responsible for developing the idea of memory boxes and together with the team in the hospital and the community have worked hard to listen to families’ feedback and feelings about what they would like. She said “The reason we chose elephants is because they never forget, something that all bereaved families can relate to.  These knitted keepsakes are a way of reminding families of the precious time they spent together.”

Sue Diamond, Community Fundraising Manager at ECHC, said: “We just want to say a massive thank you to everyone who got in contact with us to help knit more elephants.

“We put the post out on our Facebook page on Wednesday evening and by the following morning we’d had over 200 emails, messages and phone calls and it had reached over 100,000 people.

“We have been contacted by individuals, knitting groups and young people not just from all over Scotland but England and Europe too, it is incredible.”

As well as the knitted elephant, the boxes also contain other items for families to remember and to add to, including a memory book they can write in or add photos to and a cast of their child’s hand.

Sue added: “The memory boxes help provide a source of comfort not only during an extremely traumatic time but also help in the following months and years.

“It’s overwhelming to see the impact they have on families and we really can’t thank the public enough for their amazing generosity to want to help families at their lowest times.”

Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity fund the memory boxes with donations including from hospital staff who donate the proceeds from their annual Christmas event and from donations from the public.  If you have been touched by this story and would like to support their work you can donate at or contact them at


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