Banbury woman hopes to crochet 10k of yarn for dog training charity
Joanne Sammons volunteers as a puppy socialiser for the charity Dogs for Good and has seen first hand the benefits of a trained dog for people with physical disabilities, learning disabilities, or anxiety.
Joanne was keen to get involved in the charity’s annual “dogtober” fundraising event, but as she has Ehlers Danlos Syndrome - which results in her using an electric powered wheelchair to get about - the typical “dogtober” fundraiser of walking 100km throughout the month was out of the question.
This led to her thinking outside of the box and coming up with the unique fundraising project of crocheting 10 km of yarn in a month instead.
Joanne said: “I thought, what can I do? Well because I sit still a lot and my brain likes to stay active because I have ADHD and autism, I already do a lot of crocheting.
“So I thought, I wonder how much it is physically possible to crochet in a month. After some practice I realised if I worked really hard and really fast, I could probably get to 10k.”
Joanne started the epic crochet challenge at the beginning of the month at Banbury’s canal festival, where she sat and crocheted her very first stitch of the challenge at the Dogs for Good stall.
Maintaining a finger-blisteringly strict routine of half an hour of crochet before the school run, five hours during the day, followed by an hour before cooking dinner and another couple of hours post dinner, Joanne has already reached the impressive mark of 3,700 metres of crocheted yarn.
Joanne is crocheting the yarn into blankets, which she will then sell to raise even more money for the Dogs for Good charity. She hopes to have created 10 blankets by the end of the month and is already on her third.
The charity Dogs for Good holds a special place in Joanne’s heart as she has spent the past eight months training a puppy to be used by the charity.
“I got Monty the puppy at eight weeks old and I literally take him out with me everywhere I go socialising him. Everyone at my children’s school knows who he is. He’s been on holiday with us, to the hospital and shopping. So he really is getting a lot of experience as an assistance dog.
“It has worked well for me, giving me the confidence to go out, which I had lost because of my disability, so it’s helping me as well as helping the charity. I plan to keep training puppies for them until I am physically unable to do so, and at that point I will probably go on the charity’s list as a client.
"I’m doing my bit to help people that suffer with conditions similar to myself, so I understand their struggles a lot more than the average person, I see it from their point of view.
“I will also keep fundraising as long as I can, although I’m limited, I can’t run a marathon, I can’t even walk 10 kilometres, but I can crochet so I will continue doing that!”
To support Joanne’s crochet challenge, visit her justgiving page at justgiving.com/fundraising/joanne-sammons