Lawyers Form a U-Knitted Front
Local charity, Ellie’s Haven, has been presented with a hand-knitted patchwork blanket and a cheque for £863 from Gill Akaster LLP, one of Plymouth’s leading law firms.
Ellie’s Haven was set up by parents Nigel and Julie Libby who lost their daughter, Ellie, to a terminal illness in January 2012. Through their charity they plan to offer relief to children suffering long term and life-limiting illnesses, providing them with a safe haven in which to holiday and spend quality time with their families.
18 members of the Gill Akaster team came together to knit 77 large squares which combine to make a sizeable blanket which will be used by the children and their families in the haven. Contrasting shades of pink and different types of wool were used to create a sensory effect and provide points of interest to the youngsters.
Coats Crafts UK, based within Plymouth’s House of Fraser, also showed its support for the charity by donating balls of wool to the team, ensuring all money raised could go directly to the charity.
The Gill Akaster team included both novice and experienced knitters drawn from every level of the firm. Stephen Ramsden, the firm’s managing partner and usually a hard-hitting litigator known as ‘Rambo’ to his colleagues, finished the blanket with an impressive 20ft of finger-knitting.
Ellie’s Haven was selected as the firm’s charity of the year in July and since then a number of events and activities have taken place to raise funds for the much deserving organisation.
Stephen Ramsden, managing partner of Gill Akaster, said: “Everyone has been eager to raise all the money they can for Ellie’s Haven and knitting is something of a fading art. Indeed it has been a long time since I undertook this kind of activity!
“Creating the blanket brought all the team together with 18 staff knitting and the rest of the firm supporting by way of sponsorship. It was a real team effort and we must also thank Coats Crafts UK for donating the wool. It is great to have more people involved and learning about the charity and its aims.”
Nigel Libby, Ellie’s father and founder of Ellie’s Haven, commented: “It is coming up to the first anniversary of Ellie’s death and it is an emotional time for us. We now have the property and have a huge task ahead in converting it to make it suitable for use. Without the help and support of the likes of Gill Akaster and its staff we could not achieve all that we have – and all that is still required.
“The blanket will be well used in the holiday home and the money raised will go towards adapting the property so it meets the needs of the families who will stay there. Heartfelt thanks go to all at Gill Akaster for their efforts and fantastic support.”
Ellie’s Haven purchased a property in South-East Cornwall in October 2012 and requires £250,000 to pay for the building work and fit out. It is hoped that the charity will be able to offer holidays to families from spring 2015.