Employees from a major electrical retailer based in Bolton helped to recoup cash by taking part in a children hospice’s Easter chick knit appeal.

Knitters from around the globe picked up their needles after an appeal by Francis House Children’s Hospice to send in characterful knitted chicks and bunnies.

Staff at the hospice in Manchester were "egg-static" when a final count revealed a whopping 35,000 chicks had flown through their doors.

The cute creations are filled with a small chocolate egg, donated in their tens of thousands by schools, supermarkets and local businesses before being sold across the region for £2 each.

Delivering 35,000 chicks to participating schools and shops to go on sale required an army of volunteer drivers.

Staff from AO’s quality and compliance team swapped a day at their desks and delivered 3,800 chicks to 20 locations around Manchester city centre, Salford, Stockport, Wythenshawe and Altrincham.

AO manager Ashleigh Edwards said: "When it came to choosing a charity for our Make a Difference Day we wanted do something that we could really get involved with and Francis House stood out as a local children’s charity that we wanted to help. 

“It was great fun spending the day driving around and dropping off orders of chicks.

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“The team at Francis House were so grateful and we even bought some chicks ourselves.

“The hardest part was selecting which ones we wanted – there were all so cute and so many to choose from.”

The Francis House Easter Chick Appeal helps to fund the hospice’s vital work in caring for children and young adults with life-limiting conditions and offering support and respite for the whole family. This year the fundraising appeal is expected to raise more than £55,000.

Rachel Nasiri, fundraising officer at Francis House said: “Our Easter Chick Appeal is unique in that it involves not just our wonderful knitters but the whole community going all out in their support.

“Businesses and individuals collect and donate crème eggs, dozens of volunteers pack the chicks into orders and heaps of fantastic venues sell the chicks and bunnies - it’s a huge team effort.

“The funds raised through this year’s Easter Chick Appeal will go a long way in supporting the work of Francis House.

“We rely on the community’s goodwill to continue our services; it is very reassuring in this difficult fundraising climate to see so many supporters still prepared to give their time, efforts and money to help our hospice.”

Francis House provides care to the families of children and young adults with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions - services include respite care, homecare, sibling support, end of life care and bereavement support. 

If you have a story or something you would like to highlight in the community, please email me at chloe.wilson@newsquest.co.uk or DM me on X @chloewjourno.