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Help Tom, Aran and Woolly with their new home!

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Hi, most of you know me as Woolly. If you've been following our story, you'll know that we've struggled with several things in recent years, largely impacted by Brexit and circumstances beyond our control.

We've finally been able to make some changes to give ourselves a fresh start and I've set up this page as many people - friends, family and fans - have said that they'd like to help us start our new life.

If you don't know us, then welcome! We are an Autistic family currently living in Italy. I'm the sole wager earner in our family, with my partner being our primary carer. I put my problem-solving brain to use and design hand-knitting patterns for Hats and publish them under the name 'Woolly Wormhead'. It's a tough industry to make a living in, but it's the only job I can do and do well. Both myself and our son have Autism and ADHD, and we're raising him to be proud of himself and see his Autism as a difference, not something to be cured, and helping him navigate a world that is in general unwelcoming to people with our disabilities.

It may surprise you to learn that, in the UK for example, only 22% of Autistic adults are in employment. And that services and support for Autistic adults are virtually non-existent. We're facing those same barriers in Italy, where the statistics are no better. We're unable to access many of the financial benefits that could help us due to Brexit and its impact on British citizens living abroad, and in particular, how it has affected us personally.

After much support for my mental health from the online knitting community, we have found a new home where we hope we'll feel safe and where my health can continue to improve! And where we hope our teen will thrive. We're looking forward to building a life where we'll have the space and quiet needed to look after ourselves.

We're going to be living somewhere with central heating, double-glazed windows, and an indoor bathroom, things we've lived without for well over a decade. We'll have space to grow food, and our long-term goal is to install solar panels, live off-grid, and be as self-sufficient as possible. But the rise in energy bills, and the cost of living, have eaten what we'd put aside for that and more.

And many of you have told us that you'd like to contribute in some way. Either by buying us a housewarming gift or even a belated wedding gift. Or by simply donating to help us buy many of the items we'll need. As a family, we've never lived in a house before, and we don't have a lot of belongings or furniture.

We've received some donated furniture and the previous owner is leaving some behind in the new home, which is brilliant. We do though need beds, and bedding, as our mattresses, duvets and pillows have become damp and mouldy in recent years due to leaks and damp, and the need to reduce our heating bills. We're also lacking in kitchen equipment, as we've never had space for much in the bus we've lived in for 11 years.

At folks' request, we've set up a wishlist on Amazon.it and a gift registry with Ikea.it. Most other well-known companies with an online presence don't offer the same service in our area, and with that in mind, I created this page as an alternative option - like a landing page for interested folks.

We have Amazon Prime, so if you'd like to save on shipping costs, you could donate and leave a note telling us the item it's intended for? Or we may be able to collect at the local Ikea store? We'll be moving at the end of December 2022, and we can't accept larger deliveries until I'm in the new place!

If using Amazon works for you, click here to be taken to our wishlist.

If Ikea works for you, click here to be taken to our gift registry.

And if you'd rather donate through PayPal, type 'paypal dot com forward-slash paypalme forward-slash WoollyHats' into your browser without the spaces etc.

We're incredibly grateful for all the help you've offered us. Times are tough, and we know many people can't afford to help, but knowing you're thinking of us and shouting us on from the sidelines goes a long way.

I honestly don't think we'd be where we are now without the generous help of the knitting community in getting me intensive therapy and EMDR treatment for the last 18 months. Here's to a brighter, better future. We appreciate your support.

And you can bet that I'll be sharing updates about my new studio on my blog and Instagram!

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  • Terese Pratt
    • £30 
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  • Deborah Jones
    • £25 
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    • £100 
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  • Carol McCormick
    • £15 
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  • Kelly Patrick
    • £50 
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R P
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England

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