Media Release: Big knit for Shelter Scotland

AN annual arts festival is aiming to help homeless people across Scotland by asking concert-goers and music fans from across the world to knit hats for the homeless.

The Perthshire Amber Festival is the brainchild of legendary Scottish ‘Caledonia’ singer-songwriter, Dougie MacLean, who received an OBE last year for his services to music and charity.

The festival runs from Friday October 26 to Sunday November 4, with its home base in Dunkeld, Perthshire. Keeping with tradition, the festival will again feature the Big Knit – a collection of small knitted squares donated by people from as far afield as Australia, America and Scandinavia, to form the Shelter Scotland Blanket, which will be auctioned in aid of the charity.

This year, concert-goers and fans from across the world are also being asked to send in knitted hats which will be sold during the event. Organisers hope to receive around 500 hats to sell. All proceeds will go to Shelter Scotland to help in their fight against bad housing and homelessness.

Jenny MacLean, director of the Perthshire Amber Festival, explained: “It is very exciting to think that people from all over the world will knit hats or squares and they will end up here in Perthshire.

“The festival’s charitable efforts have long attracted the kindness of festival-goers as well as total strangers from far flung places and we hope this year’s Big Knit will be the most successful ever.  We are very proud to support Shelter Scotland’s valuable work and hope that people from across the world will get involved and help us to raise vital funds by knitting a hat or blanket square – or both.

“I encourage everyone to get involved, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced knitter. Not only is it great fun but knitters are supporting a very worthwhile charity and contributing to the creation of a beautiful blanket.”

This year, hats will be sold throughout the festival and the auction of the blanket will be held on the final night of the festival. In previous years the blanket ended up as far away as Holland after a winning bid of £1,550 was made from Teun van de Wardt of Apeldoorn.

According to Shelter Scotland, the money raised from the blanket was enough to help 155 families and individuals through the charity’s free national helpline.

The festival features concerts, open mic sessions, workshops, talks, guided walks and other outdoor activities. With concert venues across Perthshire, acts include Julie Fowlis, Tim Edey and Peter Gazey, Emily Smith, Blazin’ Fiddles as well as multi performances by Dougie MacLean.

Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, said: “We thank everyone involved in the Big Knit for their support and all those who have contributed to the Shelter Scotland blanket.  In particular we thank Dougie and his family for their continuing support. The money raised will go towards Shelter Scotland’s work to help families and individuals facing homelessness and housing difficulties.”

Full instructions for taking part in the Big Knit are available on the website:


Notes to Editors:

Shelter Scotland provides expert support services, online advice and a free national helpline for everyone facing housing and homelessness difficulties. For advice and support visit or call 0808 800 4444.

Spokespeople are available for interview – call the media office on 0844 515 2442. An ISDN line is available for broadcast interviews.

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Shelter Scotland believes everyone should have a home. We help people find and keep a home. We campaign for decent housing for all.

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Contact: Shelter Scotland