Knitted Knockers UK knits and crochets cotton breast prostheses for women who’ve had a mastectomy or lumpectomy as a result of breast cancer.
The charity was founded by Joanna Dervisoglu and Kay Coombes. Starting out as a knitting group on Facebook, it soon become clear that there was a need in the UK for a knitted, light weight alternative to the silicon prostheses available to women. The group became a registered charity in March 2015 and from day one there has been an admin team working hard to get the charity up and running. Nowadays there’s a team of 4 Trustees with 3 Board members who run the charity, 300 people volunteer for KKUK including 100 authorised knitters to make the knockers.
In their first year the team of volunteers completed over 800 requests from ladies across the UK. Last year over 2,111 Knitted Knockers were sent out along with 350 Aquas, a new range introduced in the July. The Aquas are designed especially for use in water, everything from swimming to paddle boat racing!
KKUK regularly receive testimonials from ladies who receive the Knockers. One lady posted:
I’m lucky to be alive, and my scars are my battle wounds. They are also a privilege as I’m still here to wear them, as I was initially told my prognosis was poor…. Today is a new day and a new mindset…. I intend to wear my Knockers with pride, and in recognition of those who have lost their battle…. I cannot express my thanks and gratitude enough.
Earlier this year, a chance TV appearance led to a huge increase in demand and awareness of their services. Lynne Hawksworth, Secretary and Trustee explained:
It was pure luck that the day ITV were filming about the new John Lewis Hub a group of our ladies were having a “promotional knit and natter” there and the reporter was intrigued. Instead of the fairly regular 150-200 combined orders a month, we’ve received over 650 requests, and I’m still processing more. It is a double-edged sword for us, it is desperately sad that so many ladies need our help but at the same time it brings us happiness that more ladies who need us have found us.
Due to the charities TV appearance, they’ve also been inundated with volunteer requests from potential future Knockerettes, leading to a long waiting list! But..there’s plenty of other ways to help, you can donate directly to the charity through knittedknockersuk.com or every time you buy online the easyfundraising way. You can even get your hands on a mini Knocker to help raise much needed funds to go towards yarn, mailing bags and postage.
The other area of expense we need to look at fundraising for is advertising. The two television appearances showed that the need for our charity is there, but even this week I met two ladies who had never heard of us and were thrilled to know we existed. One of the charity’s aims is to ensure every woman who might need our service in the UK is aware of us, and how to contact us.”