Woman makes ‘worry worms’ to make strangers smile

Madelaine Mattis, 49, from Newham has been knitting and crocheting for over 35 years. “It’s my happy place,” she says. “It’s great for relaxing.”

Most recently, her hobby has turned into a way to make people smile, and feel less alone. She’s started making worry worms, and distributing them to strangers with a short poem. 

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It all started during lockdown in 20201, when a work colleague asked her to make a set of “worry worms” for her Year 1 class to give out as gifts. “I found making them gave me so much pleasure, that I decided to make some and leave them around my local area for people to find,” she says.

The worms are crochet, and super fast to make, says Madelaine. They’re paired with a poem that says: 

I’m your little worry worm,

Keep me close, keep me near,

when a worry pops in your head,

hold me tight and whisper in my ear,

I will take away your worry,

so, you have nothing to fear.

Madelaine distributes them in her area for anyone to find. “I left some in a local park hanging from the trees and on a bus,” she says. “I think they’re important.”

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She says the worms were originally made for Random Acts Of Kindness week for people suffering with stress and anxiety. “During lockdown many people struggled with their emotions and felt stressed, the Worry Worms are meant to make you feel a little better and to help people feel free to talk about anything they may be worried about,” she says. 

“I had fun making them and it gave me great pleasure and happiness leaving them around the local area.”