Telford knitters brighten up dementia hospital visits

Telford | Health | Published:

A community knitting group has made a series of blankets to brighten up hospital visits for dementia patients.

Dementia clinical specialist Karen Breese, front left, collects the blankets from Paula Harrison, founder of Knitting for Dementia, behind, and the rest of the group

Knitting for Dementia Group has been meeting every Wednesday evening at University Centre Telford – one of three regional learning centres that form the University of Wolverhampton – since mid-July, to knit and crochet blankets and bags for patients with dementia in order to make their hospital stay more pleasant.

The group was formed when the centre coordinator Paula Harrison saw an appeal from dementia clinical specialist Karen Breese of The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust.

Their links to the University of Wolverhampton's specialist expertise in dementia care have allowed the group opportunities to hear talks from the head of lifelong learning at the university, Dr Mary Mahoney, as well as social care expert and lecturer Omie Griffiths.

Paula said: "I decided to see if there was any interest in setting up a knitting group and I have been amazed at the success. Up to 18 ladies of all ages have been coming to the group every week for the last six weeks and between them they have produced 45 blankets and 43 bags which is incredible. We are so grateful for their hard work and commitment to the appeal.

"A side benefit of the group is that we can work to reduce social isolation and to enable people of all ages to learn something new and develop new skills in a social setting, in our informal community learning environment."

Paula said Karen Breese was thrilled with the number of items she received when she came to the latest meeting to collect the blankets that have been produced so far.

She added: "Karen talked to the group about her work as a dementia nurse and the challenges faced by sufferers and their carers, thanking the group and saying how much the patients and their families love these knitted items and what a difference they make during their stay in hospital."

Report by Anna Highfield


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