Welcome back to the Bramley Buttons blog.  Slightly different start to the blog this month.  A couple of nights ago I found a hedgehog trapped in some discarded weed suppressant fabric on the pavement by our house.

It looked like it had tried to get back into our garden, but as well as being caught around the hedgehogs spines, the fabric had caught on the underside of the wooden gate, so the hedgehog was well and truly trapped.  It didn’t take long to free it from the gate, but it took over 30 minutes to cut away most of the fabric caught around the hedgehog, and we couldn’t get all the strands free, so I took it to the nearest rescue centre very late at night.  The Hedgehog is currently at Secret World Wildlife Rescue centre receiving treatment, and I’m waiting to hear back on whether it will be well enough to release back into the wild. 

Please think carefully about whether wildlife could become trapped in items you are throwing away and dispose of things carefully.  The same rescue centre treating the hedgehog was involved in catching and treating a fox cub last week which had been seen with a plastic ring around it’s neck which had already started to cut into it’s neck.  Thankfully they were able to catch the fox cub and cut away the ring and treat the neck wound.

Link to Hope

The Link to Hope shoebox appeal leaflets for 2021 have now been printed.  If you are interested in filling a shoebox for Link to Hope this year, please register online at https://linktohope.co.uk/shoebox-appeal-2021/shoebox-registration-2021/ .  There are area collectors like me around the country, so hopefully there will be someone who lives in your area,  though more are needed so if you think you could receive and store 80+ shoe boxes for a few weeks in October/November please get in touch directly with Link to Hope.  They don’t take up as much room as you might think. 

If you aren’t able to fill a shoebox yourself then there are other options to join in.  They are explained in the link above but they are – make a donation to Link to Hope for them to fill a shoebox for you – which will include a greetings card with your name and a message of your choice, and they can send you a photo of the box filled on your behalf.  (Suggested donation amount is £20.00). Another option is to make a financial donation towards the shoebox appeal, donate some items and send them to Link to Hope, or purchase items for them from their Amazon with list.

Link to Hope shoebox calendar

The Link to Hope Calendar suggestion for May is toiletries.  Soap and Flannel, shampoo, toothbrushes and toothpaste, razors, small scissors.  If you are doing one or two shoeboxes the best value at the moment for flannels is probably Wilko – their functional flannel is 35p, or if you are doing several shoeboxes (and didn’t buy any of my suggestions in previous months) then Dunelm is probably the best value with 10 flannels for £2.10 instore, or their hotel quality flannels 10 for £3.00 which can be ordered on line for click and collect.  Alternatively if you have a John Lewis near by then they do 4 flannels for £1.50 in either white or dark grey.

For toothbrushes and toothpaste then Morrisons is still my main suggestion.  A pack of 4 toothbrushes for 50p and 75ml toothpaste for 30p.  Sainsburys and Asda do a pack of 2 white toothbrushes for 25p, and Tesco do a pack of 2 different coloured toothbrushes for 25p.  The cheapest toothpaste in Sainsburys is currently 47p for 100ml, and Tesco is 50p for 100ml. (Sainsburys say they are price matching Aldi on their toothpaste but the cheapest I can see online for Aldi is 59p for 100ml.)  The cheapest toothpaste I can see in Asda is 78p for 75ml.  Lidl Dentalux toothpaste is 59p for 125ml, and they do also do a pack of 2 toothbrushes for 49p which is twice as expensive as Morrisons, Asda, Sainsburys and Tesco, but a lot cheaper than most single toothbrush packs.

The best value by far for soap is Tesco – their own brand single bars of soap are still 15p!!  They have a pleasant scent and aren’t tested on animals and contain no animal ingredients. 

Most of the cheaper shampoos are in large bottles so aren’t suitable for the shoeboxes as they need to be under 300ml.  The best value I’ve found so far are Waitrose own brand – 80p for 300ml.  Three of the range are suitable for vegans – not tested on animals and no animal derived ingredients.  I tend to buy the Essential Nourishing Shampoo or the Essential Daily Care 2 in 1 Shampoo.  The anti dandruff 2 in 1 shampoo is also free from animal derived ingredients but I prefer to buy ones that may be more suitable for the whole family.

Tesco and Sainsburys are the best value for disposable razors – both do packs of 5 for 30p. 

I’ve stitched together a couple of knee blankets this month from squares of varying sizes knitted by friends and colleagues around the country.  I’m also experimenting with knitting some simple fingerless gloves.  If they work out I’ll share the details next month.

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