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UK Hand Knitting Works Urges PM to Recognise the Mental Benefits of Craft and Yarn Shops

By Emily Peagram 12 Oct 2020

UK Hand Knitting, the industry body for the hand knitting trade has been working tirelessly to support Bricks and Mortar retailers since the beginning of the lockdown with a targeted campaign across all craft magazines and social media, encouraging consumers to support their local yarn shops.

In their latest effort, Mike Wilson, Chairman of UK Hand Knitting has written to the Prime Minister, urging him to recognise the vital role craft and yarn shops provide, supporting mental health and wellbeing across the country and calling on him to designate them as essential retail during any new or local lockdown.

The organisation, which was formed at another time of crisis in 1940, put forward scientific evidence that crafting and being creative has an important role to play in safeguarding mental health from around the world.

The charity Mind has already called on the government to plan for recovery, responding to ONS figures in August this year, which have found that rates of depression have doubled during the coronavirus pandemic.

This is where UK Hand Knitting believe craft shop retailers can help, describing them as one of this country’s greatest assets, often run by selfless people who themselves see social community service and friendship as an important part of their business. Scores of them have been making PPE for their local NHS, organising Scrub Hubs and mobilising their customers to volunteer when the country called for action.

The letter was also forwarded to more than 30 MPs and influencers and a petition has been started on which has over 5,000 signatures.

The government has responded by stating that they recognize the contribution craft shops make to the economy and the role they play in mental health and well-being. They have confirmed that they will keep the guidance under review and will consider updating it as circumstances change.

You can sign the petition by heading to

If you would like your yarn shop to be listed on UK Hand Knitting’s free map, please email

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