Earlier this year we launched Treacle Cares. The project came about after wondering what the heck to do with the ever-growing amount of stash we have (from shop samples, donations, commission knits). We are thrilled about how this has turned out. No money changing hands at any point. The idea is we provide the yarn and a simple pattern for our customers to knit an item. They return it to us and we pass it on to whoever needs it. We are supporting the homeless charities in Newcastle with hats and gloves - they have since asked for socks too - the local hospitals with preemie baby things and beautiful chemotherapy hats, a local Care Home with leg blankets and fingerless mitts and more. We'd love to be able to support Women's Shelters, perhaps with toys or sweaters for kids - basically anyone who can use our knitted items, take when they need, for free and without fuss.
As someone who lived in London for 8 years (very near to the Croydon troubles), I wish I could help in some way. I thought perhaps by sharing our success project, some of the other yarn shops who are feeling the troubles at first/second hand, might be able to get something similar to Treacle Cares running in their area.
If we at Treacle can help, or you want more information, please get in touch.