Bedford and Luton yarn bomb delight helps spread vital message on mental health

A previous exhibition at Bedford Suspension Bridge
A previous exhibition at Bedford Suspension Bridge

Avid crafter and artist Verity Slaughter-Penney has worked with a team of knitters and crochet enthusiasts to create a beautiful display of 1,800 purple and white flowers as a fundraiser for Transition UK charity, which supports young people with mental health issues.

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The display has already been on the road at Bedford Suspension Bridge and Bedford Sports and Social Club before being installed at Wardown Bridge this week.

People can donate with the QR code

The work came about after Verity advocated flowers in the color of the Milton Keynes-based charity. Purple is also the signature color that reflects sanity. Around 200 people replied, including one from Poland and one from the Isle of Wight. A blind Yorkshire craftsman provided 200 flowers and Verity made about 200 herself before sewing them all onto netting to make the display.

“We asked people to make them as individual as possible to represent the young people we’ve lost to suicide. Every single flower is different to represent individuality.”

Verity, a former principal who works at the charity, has had her own mental illness struggles and suffers from PTSD and anxiety disorders.

“The work of the charity is very important to me,” she said. The purple flower show follows a poppy show she organized that was on display before the pandemic.

Bedford Poppy Bombing in 2018 – Photo Jellypics Photography

It takes about a week to attach the flowers to the webbing and then another three hours to attach the installation to the bridges.

“People stop and talk to me when I put the display up, which is very nice. They say, ‘What a lovely thing.’ People really respect tokens of love like that,” she said.

The Wardown feature includes a note explaining the purpose behind the display, as well as a QR code for donations. Once the exhibition is over, the flowers will be turned into badges for sale.

“We hope a lot of people will go and see it and donate. I know these are hard times for people, but these are even harder times for some young people,” Verity said.

The Yarn Bombardment in Wardown

Transitions UK provides life-changing support for vulnerable and disadvantaged young people aged 13-24. Founded in Luton in 2014, the charity now works from 18 locations across Herts, Beds, Bucks, Leicestershire, Birmingham and North London across four areas of expertise – learning disabilities, crime, mental health and care for experienced young people. For more information, see

If you would like to help Verity with future projects or are a professional photographer who can help highlight the work done, you can contact Verity at http://.[email protected]

Up to 200 people helped design the flowers

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