Francis House Children’s Hospice is launching a Virtual Knit Off contest to give crafters the opportunity to show off their knitting skills in aid of a worthy cause.

The competition includes four categories to enter including cutest soft toy, colourful story character, adorable baby item and most original design.

Entry for the Virtual Knit Off opens on August 1 and supporters are asked to upload a photograph of their best knitted or crocheted item to the Francis House website.

It costs £3 per entry, per category, and money raised will go towards providing hospice care and support to the families of children with life-limiting and life-shortening conditions from across Greater Manchester.

Karen Flower, PR Officer at Francis House, said: “We have lots of incredible supporters who love to knit and crochet, and we know that many of them have been waiting for something to do to keep them busy.With the re-opening of the shops, it is now possible to stock up on craft supplies and we hope that there will be lots of enthusiasm to pick up those knitting needles and enjoy our Virtual Knit Off competition.”

Entry closes on September 30. A judging panel will draw up a shortlist for each of the four categories, which will then be published on the hospice’s website from October 5 and entered into a voting stage.

Karen said: “We are looking forward to seeing some amazing pictures and encourage anyone who is lucky enough to be shortlisted to tell their family and friends to vote for them.”

The photograph in each category with the most votes will win a £25 voucher kindly donated by Hobbycraft in Altrincham.

The entry with the most votes overall will win an additional £30 Hobbycraft voucher when winners are announced on October 16.

“Francis House is facing a shortfall in income of £250,000 due to the cancellation of fundraising events as a result of the Coronavirus crisis. Our annual Easter knitted chick appeal raised only a fraction of what it normally does due to the early closure of the schools and businesses. We hope this event will encourage our dedicated knitters and groups to once again come to our aid,” added Karen.

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