“The idea for The Raggedy Doll Foundation (RDF) came from a simple song I wrote in 2010. The song is about a Rag doll who feels insecure. As it looks around at the other toys it begins to feel like the ordinary one. But the toy maker has a message for the doll. ‘Every stitch and very seam of you is just how I dreamed of you.’ ‘I don’t make mistakes and I wouldn’t change a thing’. 

As I began performing the song, I noticed a real response in people (particularly children).  I started to receive messages from parents whose children loved the song. I had a moving email from a carer for special needs children who had found great encouragement from the Raggedy Doll’s story. Myself and a small team decided to do something! After some prayer and discussion we decided we wanted to provide Raggedy Dolls for children across the world, made with love and carrying a message of self-worth. We wanted every child to feel valuable and special.

Our initial plan was to produce and give away thousands of Raggedy Dolls. However, we quickly realised that on our own this would be difficult, costly and could take years to achieve. Then the efforts of one girl in Kansas gave us an idea…

Hearing of our plan online, Melanie Garcia got together with some ladies in her community and made a bunch of dolls. We were so encouraged and inspired by their compassion that a new plan was born!

We realised that if we could inspire churches, schools, individuals, and organisations to get together and make their own dolls, thousands more children could be reached! Even better, with this approach it could become about more than a song & a few girls in Yorkshire. It could become about a bigger picture – communities loving and encouraging the children in their worlds. Moreover, the result would be a more personal and completely unique doll.

So our new goal is to launch the Raggedy Doll website – an online platform where anyone can download the resources required to make their own Raggedy Dolls. From patterns to resource guides- everything needed will be available, along with ideas and inspiration for planning & hosting a ‘Raggedy Doll workshop’.
By bringing people together for just a few hours to make dolls, we know that as a global community we can reach thousands of children. Whether a home group, coffee morning, a specifically dedicated event or alternative hen-party, a Raggedy Doll workshop is a great way to bring people together to do something special for children. We eventually hope to involve schools, inspiring children themselves to encourage one another in what makes them unique and special.

Participants can then send us pictures and videos of their project and we can share their stories on the Raggedy Doll newsfeed. Together we can watch the number of children we’re reaching increase with every kind person that takes part.

We’re so excited to begin this global party and anticipate a great adventure… Let’s get ready to Sew In Love!”


Philippa Hanna 

(Singer-songwriter/Raggedy Doll Foundation founder)