Positive People

Surrey mum raises community spirits with colourful postbox ‘hats’

A mum-of-three from Surrey has helped to put smiles on the faces of local residents by adding colourful crochet patterns to local postboxes.

During these dark times, rainbow patterns have been a regular sight in people’s windows.

Seen as a sign of hope, some people even sold crochet versions of rainbows to raise money for NHS staff.

One Surrey resident decided she would do something a bit different that would add a smile to people’s faces when they would pass postboxes.

Viki Brooks, 49, from Epsom, came up with the idea of putting colourful crochet ‘hats’ on top of local postboxes.

Having seen something similar in Dorking, and inspired by the rainbows, Viki put the first crochet ‘hat’ on a postbox at the end of her road just before Easter.

“Once lockdown happened I noticed all the rainbows that were being put in windows so I decided to go with the rainbow theme. I’d already crocheted a rainbow to hang in our bay window using the Kerry Jayne design and used this as a starting point,” Viki told Oh My Goodness.

Viki’s wide range of postbox hats have helped to lift spirits in the local area. (Viki Brooks)

When she placed the first crochet cover on top of the postbox at the end of her road late at night, Viki was nervous of what people might think the next day.

“My husband came with me and I was so nervous! I thought people might get angry, maybe think it was an unnecessary journey? I was not expecting the response it got,” she said.

It was when a friend of hers from WERRA (West Ewell and Ruxley Residents Association) told her about how people had seen it on Facebook and believed it was a lovely addition to her street, that Viki decided to make more.

Given the nickname “Caped Crocheter” by some of her friends, after she made four more of the hats for postboxes in the Epsom area, including a special one for VE Day, colourful crochet hats inspired by her bright additions to postboxes had spread to Stoneleigh.

Many people have since contacted Viki to say they hope to do the same for their areas.

“I’ve had so many people saying how much it’s cheered them up seeing the postboxes [and] have enjoyed taking their children out to hunt for them.”

Viki even made a special crocheted hat for VE Day. (Viki Brooks)

Viki, who has been a keen knitter and crocheter for years, after watching a Kirsty Alsop programme, teamed up with fellow crochet enthusiasts and has now set up a Facebook group for public requests.

The team of crocheters are currently making blankets for women that have had still birth or miscarriage so that they can still cuddle their baby and have a memento.

But the mum-of-three is facing her biggest challenge yet.

“I’m currently trying to knit a doll for a friends daughter – except she wants it be Villanelle from Killing Eve! It’s certainly challenging me,” she said.

It’s not just colourful crochet postbox hats and blankets that Viki has made, she uses her talents to help her local community, and is a focal part of it.

She recently crocheted a mini Yoda; the famous Star Wars character, to auction on eBay for Ginger Cat House Rescue, who help to rescue, rehome and rehabilitate cats, and launched another project for nurses to use when children have to go to hospital.

Viki recently auctioned a crochet version of Yoda that she made for Ginger Cat Rescue, who help to rescue, rehome and rehabilitate cats. (Viki Brooks)

The project will gift children and their parents a crocheted heart each, as a way to help them feel connected if their parents aren’t able to be with them.

Viki has also raised funds for her Scout Group and knitted mini snow men as Christmas tree decorations and sold them at at a local Yule.

The crochet hearts that Viki has made for nurses to give to children who are in hospital. (Viki Brooks)

However, the other projects won’t stop Viki brightening up a few more postboxes in the meantime.

“I do have a couple more postbox hats spare so keep en eye out,” Viki added.

If you would like to follow the progress of Viki and other crotcheters in the Epsom and Ewell area, you can check out their lovely Facebook group here.

On this day…

In 1978… The first version of the rainbow flag representing gay pride was flown at the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day parade. Designed by Gilbert Baker, it was not until 1994 that the flag was truly established as the symbol for LGBTQ pride.

We love it when people rally together to help each other. Know any unsung heroes? Got any kindness stories? Send them in! We want the world to hear about good deeds from good people. More importantly, have a good day! 🙂

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