The Octo Project started in Denmark in February of 2013
A group of volunteers who use premium cotton to crochet colourful Octos
for premature babies found the tentacles of Octo resemble the umbilical cord
and believe they remind the babies of their time in the womb.
The Spruttegruppen group donates Octos to families with preemies in 17 of the neonatal departments in Denmark and Greenland.
Since the inception of The Octo Project, they have received numerous inquiries from all over the world and have helped get the project off the ground with volunteers in:
Sweden, Norway, Iceland, The Faroe Islands, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxemburg, France, Italy, Turkey, Croatia, Israel, the Palestinian Territories, Australia and in the United States.
The Danish Octo Project have made over 40,000 octopus
for premature babies since it started in 2013.
We have received handmade Octopals from
42 crocheters from all over NZ!
We’ve been able to gift 730 Octopals to 13 Neonatal Units around New Zealand, we’ve also gifted 35 Octopals as special individual requests from a friend or family member for premature babies in Neonatal Units.
Our Octopals are notoriously difficult to make as they have to be 100% safe for little babies to handle. Unfortunately some of those Octopals we've received do not quite meet our strict criteria for premature babies, however,
none of them go to waste!
“I saw your photos on Facebook about the Octopals and decided to make some, after sending them to you and the Octopals were not quite up to Preemie standard I decided to make some of the hearts. They are a lot easier on the hands and I love making them, my little contribution to the community. I’m looking forward to being of help to you as long as I can and you need them.”
Els Doets (makes Hearts for us, Els is in her 80s, our very own Octo-genarian, pictured above left)
Octopals that don't quite make the preemie standard are gifted to various charities!
Kids in Need Waikato put together care-packs which include our Octopals, for children in foster care and they love them
Violence Free Waipa provides a counselling service to victims of domestic violence and other terrible situations. The Octopals offer something for people to twiddle with during their counselling sessions
Jesse Mulligan's Knit a Critter campaign received a whole bunch of Octopals which were donated to the Mangere Refugee Settlement Centre Auckland and gifted to children arriving in New Zealand with no belongings
And Octopals with tentacles longer than 22cm (which is not safe for children) have been donated to a Dementia Care Unit where the patients absolutely adore them!