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Hertfordshire 'yarn bombers' knit festive woollen toppers raising £64,000 for charities 

It's that time of year when amusing woolly hats make an appearance – and the red pillar boxes in one city are no exception.

All sorts of festive scenes have appeared on the post boxes in St Albans, Hertfordshire, from Santas and angels to nativity scenes complete with shepherds drying their socks.   

A total of 82 of the crocheted and knitted creations, have popped up throughout the area this week in a bid to raise money for charity.   

Laminated cards urge passersby to donate money: each topper has a QR code that can be used to make a donation to one of two local charities. 

Yarn bombers in St Albans, Hertfordshire, have adorned red post boxes around the city with festive knitted creations including red and green crackers (pictured)

A gingerbread house complete with two snowmen and gingerbread figures (pictured) sits on top of a post box complete with a laminated QR code that people can use to donate to charity  

A total of 82 of the knitted creations, each which take 24 hours to make, have popped up throughout the area and feature intricate designs to encourage people to donate to charity 

This year, the founders are supporting local charity Youth Talk, which provides free, confidential counselling to 13-25 year olds who live in the City and District of St Albans and ADD-Vance, which supports parents of neurodiverse children in the area. 

The knitted creations  - each which take around 24 hours to make - are the handiwork of a group of yarn bombers who started the charity event began in the town in 2018.

That year, just 23 post box toppers were knitted for St Albans, but it has now expanded across Hertfordshire, to Park Street, Harpenden, Wheathampstead and Sandridge, making £64,000 for local charities.

One man, based in Chicago, has sponsored a postbox outside his mum's house as a surprise because they are not able to spend Christmas together this year. 

Clare Suttie, one of the founders of the festive woolly event, said the sight of the woolly and crocheted creations 'brings everyone together for Christmas'.

The festive event has made £64,000 for local charities with their knitted and crocheted creations

The charity event began in the town in 2018 when just 23 were knitted around the city, but it recent years it has expanded

She said: '2021 sees a record number of toppers, a bigger team of volunteers and we can't wait to see everyone out and about finding them all.'

From this month, people can follow the trail of post boxes with toppers across the district and donate. 

More than 30 yarn-bombers have taken part in making new displays. Sadly, they say that each year they expect 10 per cent of their toppers will be lost to vandalism.

She said: 'A yarn-bomber has worked out a random factoid. Based on a rough calculation there's a mile of yarn in each topper, so as the crow flies, if we unravelled them all, you could make a straight line from St Albans to Dover.' 

The group behind the festive toppers are already planning for next year and need volunteers. Anyone who wants to get involved can contact them here.