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.
Bead donations can be sent to Beads of Courage UK, 7, Kintore Drive, Great Sankey, Warrington, Cheshire. WA5 3NW.PLEASE CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE DONATION FORM
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 Beads of Courage Programme relies on the wonderful talent of an army of glass bead makers to help and support children during their difficult treatment journeys.
Courage beads are used for various reasons. They are known as a “booster bead” because they aren’t given for a specific treatment such as chemo, blood transfusions etc. Sometimes a nurse will have a child who is just so poorly, or so scared they won’t come out of bed. They just lay down, pull their blankets over their heads and want to forget the world. We have testimonies from nurses who have said in situations like this, they will take a box of courage beads in to the child’s room, and ask them to look through the box of beads and choose one that represents how they feel that day. They leave the box with the child, and after a short time, not only has the child chosen a bead, but they want to tell you why that bead represents how they feel that day, and what it was about that bead that made them choose it. They want to engage, and the bead has given them a way to do that.