Toppers raise spirits and help good causes

DOWNEND’S crochet and knitting creatives have treated residents to three seasonal post box displays in the space of a month.

The latest topper to be unveiled was in celebration of St George’s Day, on the postbox outside Downend post office.

Created by the Downend WI topper group, it features St George and a dazed-looking dragon on a hill, surrounded by red and white roses and English flags.

The topper was designed by Vanessa Martin, who also created the dragon, while Kathy Paramore knitted St George, with other members creating the base, St George flags and roses – using about a mile of wool in total.

The group started working on the project straight after finishing their Valentine’s Day topper in February.

It is raising money for St George’s House, 24-hour staffed supported accommodation for 16 to 21-year-old homeless people in Bristol city centre run by charity 1625 Independent People.

Vanessa said: “We thought we’d make St George’s Day fun and because 1625 run St George’s House, we asked if they’d like us to support them.”

The display includes a QR code to raise money to support St George’s House. The JustGiving donation page can be found at

1625 Independent People fundraising and events officer Jess Barke said: “St George’s House provides employment skills, builds trust and helps young people get back on their feet, with mental health workers, education and employment training and peer group support.”

For more information about the charity visit

Members of the Fabrics Plus Knit and Natter group and Kayley Waller, from Paul’s Place, with the Downend Easter topper

The St George display (left)  replaced an Easter-themed topper created by members of the Fabrics Plus Knit and Natter group, some of whose members are also WI knitters.

Featuring Humpty Dumpty, Easter bunnies, eggs, chicks and ducklings, as well as a poem called The Rabbit, it raised around £500 for Paul’s Place, a charity which runs a day centre in Coalpit Heath for adults with physical disabilities.

Tina Jefferies, from the group, said: “I visited Paul’s Place and what they do there is amazing. The people they help would otherwise be sitting all day at home, or in a home, with nothing to do – it’s a very worthwhile charity to support.”

Eight members of the group worked on the project for around two months.

The charity is currently planning a move to a new home with improved facilities in Yate.

For information on Paul’s Place visit

In Bromley Heath another topper to celebrate Easter was made by two groups and placed on the postbox at the corner of Heath Road and Oakdale Avenue.

The Heath Road Coffee Group made the topper with its floral display, while Sheila’s Knitting Group, also based in Heath Road, made the chicks, rabbits, butterflies and bees which decorated it.

Angela Avent, from the Heath Road Coffee Group, said: “The aim of the topper is to bless our community with love and happiness.”