A collection of knitted materials.

This Pride Month, our wonderful supporter Martyn Wait is running a knitted prize draw to support people affected by HIV and our work at Terrence Higgins Trust. Martyn explains the heart-warming story behind how he first fell in love with knitting and why he has decided to weave his passion for yarn into a fabulous fundraising opportunity.

I’ve been knitting for around nine years and taught myself by watching YouTube videos. My grandfather was a big knitter and sadly passed away before his first grandchild was born. I made a joke to my nan that maybe I’d learn, but she started telling people I was knitting for the baby – so I had to learn and not disappoint her!

I wanted to run an activity during Pride Month and raise both funds and awareness for an LGBTQ+ charity. At a charity talk at work about five years ago, I learned what U=U means. I then started to educate myself on the developments in HIV treatment and how it really is in our grasp that we can end new transmissions. The draw felt like a great way to help educate others outside the community about how far things have come – all through the power of knitting!

“I have an online community through my Instagram and YouTube where I share what I’ve been working on, the new projects I’ve started (I tend to start more than I finish!) and the folks who watch my YouTube are really engaged with what I’m up to. I’ve been blown away by the reception that the prize draw has had, from both in and out the knitting world!

“I’ve got a great group of friends who dye wool and design patterns. They make the yarn and patterns that I use in my personal projects, so to stick with the community vibe, I contacted them to ask if they would be kind enough to donate wool to my fundraiser and they all jumped at the chance to be part of it. Some of the dyers even donated samples that they’d made using their yarn, so I had more prizes to give away as well as the prizes I made! The fact that the prizes are already made I think has enabled folks to see exactly what they can win – and who doesn’t want something hand-knit ready for the winter?"

With up to fourteen handmade items on offer – ranging from hats, shawls and two adorable sheep – Martyn has poured so much heart into crafting these delightful prizes. He is currently on track to surpass £5k in fundraising – a fantastic amount for the charity and we cannot thank him enough!

If you’d like to enter the prize draw and help Martyn smash £5k, click the link below. Feeling inspired by Martyn? Email us with your own fundraising ideas at [email protected].