IN wet and windy weather, president Audrey of Barry and District Soroptimists, who lives in Dinas Powys, delivered another batch of Easter chicks to bring a cheerful splash of spring colour to the Velindre Appeals office.

The Appeals Officer at Velindre Hospital, Julie Smith MBE, started the 'Chick Knit' 17 years ago where her aim was to reach £1million.

Having reached her target she is now aiming for her second million as there is no let up in the demand for chicks.

More than 13 years ago club member Maywin Thomas learned of the Easter Chick Appeal and, with her encouragement, members, family and friends have donated more than 12,000 chicks to the Appeal.

Volunteers fill the knitted chicks with chocolate eggs and these are sold for £1 each. About 90 per cent of the chicks are sold in schools. The children love them and like to collect them each year.

As well as the chicks, this year the club knitted Father Christmas, snowmen and Christmas pudding decorations from patterns supplied by Velindre Hospital. These were used to decorate the club's tree at the annual Christmas Tree Festival in St Augustine's Church, Penarth, and then sold with all proceeds going to Velindre.

Money was also again donated to the appeal by club member and Barry florist Hilary West who together with her staff, Laura, Samantha, Jane and Maxine, knit and supply the chocolate eggs, and sell not only chicks but snowmen at Christmas, and Easter bunnies at this time of the year.

The Velindre Appeal is always looking for new knitters and if anyone would like to be involved, please call Julie Smith on 029 2031 6211.

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