This project started in 2018 and has kind of become an annual event (with an extra summer one thrown in for 2020)!
Some background to the postboxes which you may find useful:
This website!: https://www.stalbanspostboxes.org.uk/
BBC story Christmas 2019: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-50669760
Herts Ad local support:
We are on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
We can put you on the list to contact for the next campaign in December. Payments are made directly to the fundraising website which we set up every year.
Below you’ll find the answers the questions we’re most frequently asked!
How do I donate?
You can donate via our Give As You Live page here: https://donate.giveasyoulive.com/fundraising/st-albans-postboxes-2023
All the money goes directly to our charities
Where do the donations go?
All the donations are split evenly between our 2 charities each year.
All donations are via a Give As You Live donation page, which we set up each year.
Can you make a topper for my postbox?
You can ask, and we will consider - but only if you live in the St Albans area.
If you want to nominate a postbox to have a festive makeover, please take a photo of your postbox, and make a note of its address and postcode. Then send over your request to us and we'll see what we can do.
Is it a modern one? The older ones have a nice overhang (a lip) that allows us to secure the toppers easily. The modern ones have nothing to secure the toppers to, making them very easy to remove. The doors are also very close to the top of the box making it likely that the toppers would get stuck in the doors thus making mail collection more difficult, which we really try to avoid.
Is it a box on a stick? These are tricky too!
What happens to the toppers?
Our amazing team will take down the toppers at the end of December. They'll then be gently checked over, audited, washed and stored ready for their next appearance.
We repair and recycle as much as we possibly can. We do take some wiring and staples out to prevent rust - and these will be put back together next autumn.
We only throw away anything that has been damaged beyond repair.
Why don’t you sell the toppers to raise more money?
The toppers are built to survive 30 days on top of a postbox in December. They are complex structures of wire, staples and glue to keep them together.
They are not toys and as such, don't meet any standards by which we could sell them.
We recycle and reuse as much as possible ready for next year - this really is a year long project!
Each topper will usually last a number of years and so can help us to carry on fundraising, which we believe will raise more money, for more charities.
Can I have the patterns please?
Our amazing crochet team have either found the patterns online (using Google), adapted patterns they already have or, the creative geniuses that they are, made them up themselves.
We do have standard patterns for the bases (knitting, and crochet), and can send these to you on request. Note that if you are planning to yarn-bomb a postbox, they do come in a variety of sizes, so you will need to do some measuring!
Can you teach me to knit or crochet?
We don't run any classes, but there are lots of knitting and crochet groups locally, including the Sopwell Knitters and the Knit and Natter group at the St Albans Library.
If you fancy teaching yourself to crochet or knit, there are many books and YouTube tutorials available to get you started.
Can I make a topper for next time?
We'd love to hear from you if you'd like to get involved with making a topper. We'll need a firm commitment by March (that's when it all starts!) about what you can do.
It might be that you can make the topper bases but not the decorations, or the other way around. Get in touch with us to register your interest - email email@example.com
All our team provide their own yarn - although we do often receive generous donations of yarn and we distribute this as and when needed.
Can I sponsor a topper next time?
We love to hear from sponsors and the sooner we know about you, the better. Please register your interest as soon as you can - email firstname.lastname@example.org
Why don’t you do more to protect the toppers?
Every part of the St Albans Postboxes yarnbomb is done by volunteers. That includes:
- Every topper being made
- Every topper being put onto the postbox
- All social media
- This website and everything on it
- Every topper being collected, washed, repaired and stored for next year
- Everything else
We really hope that you enjoy the toppers but we don't have the time, money or manpower to take them in every night, cover them in a dome or GPS track them.
We hope that people enjoy and respect them.