A BLACKWOOD woman knitted more than 20,000 toy chicks to raise funds for the Velindre Hospital.

Bev Parry, 55 of Pontllanfraith, started knitting the fluffy toys 15 years ago after seeing an advert about the Chick Knit Appeal for the Cardiff hospital.

Now Mrs Parry knits every spare minute she has and has raised more than £20,000 through her work.

She is now calling on others to help her knit 60,000 more chicks over the next year to help bring the total amount raised through the appeal to £1million.

Mrs Parry said: “I used to work in a doctor’s surgery and saw a lot of patients with cancer and wanted to help.

“My house is just full of chicks and wool now. It started off as a hobby but now it is an obsession.”

Mrs Parry then sells the chicks, which have a small chocolate egg placed in them, through family and friends at £1 each.

The appeal is the brainchild of Caerphilly’s Julie Smith who started the campaign to take her mind off her illness when she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 1992 and 1996.

She is now in remission after having a stem-cell bone marrow transplant at Easter in 1997.

The appeal raised £250,000 in its first year alone in 1997 and was re-launched again last year to try and bring in more funds.

Around 700 people from all over the world currently contribute to the appeal which has so far raised more than £900,000.

Ms Smith said: “The work Bev does is phenomenal.”

To help with the appeal contact Julie on 02920 196860.