Ethel is a Knitting Charity Wizard

ethel brolls charity appeal

Meet Ethel Brolls, the knitting wizard who has helped thousands of children around the world from her home in Whithorn, Galloway.

Ethel Brolls is a lady with a huge heart. On watching a film about young children at her local Church one day, she went straight home and did what she could to help – knit!

Ethel, who was born in December 1947, has single-handedly knitted for hundreds of people around the world, and 19 years ago started a charity to help even more. The Ethel Brolls Children of the World Knitting Appeal has sent donations of knitted garments to people the world over. Here, 70-year-old Ethel tells us her story;

Can you tell us when you started knitting?

I first started knitting aged 5, on my Mother’s knee.

What gave you the idea to knit for charity?

I started my own charity 19 years ago. I first watched a film in the church from Blythswood Care who do the shoeboxes at Christmas time. The look on their wee faces just melted my heart that I thought, right Ethel, get the needles going!

I went home and looked out some wool, needles, and patterns and did a couple of jumpers. I took them very humbly to church one Sunday morning and asked the minister’s wife to post them for me to which came the reply  – “That’s something you could do!”

Then I put out an appeal in The Sunday Post and it just has snowballed from there, it never stops.

What have been the highlights so far?

When I realised I’ve helped over a hundred thousand babies, toddlers, and children around the world.

If anyone is in need of a hat to provide that need, either they be a prem babe, or a homeless person, we all belong to God, no matter what colour or creed.

ethel brolls charity appeal

What is next for you Ethel?

I have taught myself to crochet from Youtube, and when I had very bad cataracts before surgery, all I could do was to crochet blankets for a local care home. Now I go on regular visits to another care home with 30 beds. I’ve got my eyesight back again, and now I want to make for all of their beds.

How do people get involved?

Now, I don’t know who knits for my appeal, it comes in from all over the UK.  I’m very sure a lot who knit for me will depend on their knitting for the company, especially on a dark lonely night. Usually, parcels come through the mail or friends deliver their knitting.

What an inspiring lady!


If you’d like to donate to Ethel’s appeal, please contact her on Facebook at


Karlie Simmonds

Karlie has worked in Digital Media for over 10 years, she is passionate about health and wellbeing and lives in Edinburgh with her partner, children, and Pug, Poppy.