Support Us

We have a number of ways you can support Beads of Courage UK and the children and families that we support. Sewing Gurus and Lampwork Bead Artists who make Bead Bags and Act of Courage Beads  are an important element of our encouragement programme. See guidelines below.

We are also in need of financial support. Beads of Courage UK does not receive any funding so all help and support from our amazing fundraisers is appreciated.  Set up your fundraising page today. 

Join Our army of Sewing Gurus who make and donate beautiful Bead Bags for our children to keep their precious beads.

Our aim is to honour, support, and encourage children in our participating member hospitals. When you contact us, we are able to provide labels to sew onto the bead bags. You can make these by following these steps:

Step 1
Fat quarters of fabric are great for this project. There will be a small scrap left over.

Step 2
Sew the Beads of Courage bead bag label to the fabric that you have chosen for the outside of the bag. You may place it in the middle of the bag or the lower right corner.

Step 3
For the focus fabric, cut two 9" x 12" pieces. With the right side together, sew a 1/2" seam on both of the long sides to make a tube. You then have to press the seams open. Repeat these instructions to make the lining fabric.

Step 4
Turn the lining the right side out and place it inside of the focus fabric with the right side together.

Step 5 
Line up the seams and sew a 1/4" seam around the top of the tube. Then you can turn the right side out and press the seam towards the lining.

Step 6
Tuck the lining back inside and press the top seam flat.

Step 7
Place the tube on the open arm of the sewing machine and sew a seam at 2" from top. When you get to the two seams, back tack about 1/4" across the seam.

Step 8
While back tacking again, sew another seam 2-3/4" from the top. This makes the seams stronger for the cording to be pulled through.

Step 9
Using a seam ripper, pop the seam between the two back tacks on the focus fabric for the cording to be pulled through. You can then turn the project wrong side out and serge all of the layers together.

Step 10
Turn the right side out and press the bottom seam before cutting two 26" pieces of cording. Using a large safety pin, fold back about 1/2" of cording and pin through the folded edge.

Step 11
Starting at one seam, thread all the way around the bag. Then tie the ends of cording together in a knot before repeating with the other seam. Finally, sew on the provided Beads of Courage label in the middle of the bag or on the bottom corner.

Take a Look At Our Beads of Courage

Contact us if you would like to make Bead Bags and need labels.


Bead Artist Guidelines

The Beads of Courage Programme depends upon two types of beads:

1. Program Beads. These are the vast majority of beads that we use in the program. These beads are commercially manufactured due largely to the sheer numbers involved. These beads are the ones that you may have seen on bead guides that correspond to specific events in treatment. We don’t ask artists to make programme beads. 
2. Act of Courage Beads. These are the artist-made glass beads that are given to acknowledge the milestones in their treatment journey. This year, we expect that we will need approximately 100,000 of these handmade beads donated so that children can continue to receive one-of-a-kind beads for significant treatment milestones. These beads truly bring the arts to our arts-in-medicine mission. Thank you!

What is an Act of Courage Bead?

Act of Courage beads can take almost any form that you would like to make – it’s an opportunity for you let your imagination go and make new things or whatever you want to do. The 3/32 (approx. 2.5mm) mandrel is preferred but other sizes are also useable.

Special Requirements for Act of Courage Beads:

When you make beads for us please be sure to have nice ‘puckers’ on the ends of the beads. Sharp edges on the bead holes can cut fingers so beads with sharp edges can’t be sent out. Overly frilly bits sticking out might break off and leave sharp edges on the surface so please be sure that raised dots have solid connections (no undercuts) and that surface decorations are robust enough to take some knocking about.

We also ask that you refrain from using reduction frit or glasses that give a metallic sheen on the surface due to heavy metal issues with these materials. We can’t send metallic reduction surface beads out to the kids.

Anneal your beads properly in a kiln to be sure that they don’t crack. Cracked beads have to go into the trash.

Before you ship please make sure that the bead release is cleaned out. Beads with the release still inside take more time for our limited staff to clean and this seriously slows down our turnaround time.

When you send your beads please include a brief inventory in the package along with your contact information. We want to send you a Thank You certificate and a receipt for your donation. If you send beads from multiple donors in one box just include the same information for everyone so that they can all be recognized.

Following these requirements will help us get the beads out to the kids quickly and get your acknowledgments and receipts back to you in a timely fashion. All donated beads are inspected and sorted by our staff and making sure that your beads meet the need really helps things move along. Quality is far more important than quantity.

Bead Delivery to Hospitals.

None of our member hospitals are set up for direct donation. All beads distributed in our programme are our responsibility so we need to see every Act of Courage bead before it goes out. Please remember to send all of your donated beads to the Beads of Courage UK Headquarters for distribution. You can request that donations go to your nearest member hospital if you like, but remember that there are a lot of kids that need your beads who aren’t near beadmakers and they would love to have your beads too. Please keep in mind, when possible you will be personally invited to special Beads of Courage events at member hospitals where you can deliver Dream Beads in person. We look forward to having more of these events in the future!

The UK mailing address is:
Beads of Courage UK
c/o Diane Watt
14, Radlow Crescent
Marston Green, Birmingham B37 7LZ