Knitting lottery winners use lockdown to help the elderly
A group of knitting lottery winners are using their time in coronavirus lockdown to help people suffering from dementia. The group have turned their attention to knitting twiddlemuffs for the elderly after previously using their skills to knit for premature babies and animals caught up in the Australian bush fires.
And they are appealing for others to put their time in isolation to good use and join them in their campaign.
Grandmother Susan Crossland, 56, from Mirfield, West Yorkshire, did not knit for years after being taught by her grandmother as a child.
But she took it up again as a way to relax and help others after winning £1.2 million on the National Lottery.
She said "I knitted pouches for kangaroos and koalas who were left without mothers in the Australian fires, I knit for neonatal units for local hospitals, little hats, cannula sleeves and octopuses for babies born early, and then I heard about the twiddlemuffs."
Twiddlemuffs are knitted hand muffs with small items, such as buttons, pompoms, textured and shiny objects, attached, which provide comfort and stimulation for patients living with dementia.
Mrs Crossland continued: "I have tried to get a lot of people on board with it. I love knitting so why not put it to good use? Now we're all on lockdown, people are trying to find things to do and my thing is knitting."
She added: "I know I'm knitting for somebody who needs it. It's quite nice to think it might only be small but I have started giving something back.
"I just think if you are on lockdown, and you are a knitter, what could be more special than knitting for hospitals that are so desperate for things, especially now.
"Even with coronavirus going on, there's still tiny babies being born and people with dementia, life goes on. They still need it, probably even more now."
Mrs Crossland said she frequently posts appeals on social media for knitters and now has a group of around 15 people - including a number of Lotto winners - who join her in her knitting campaigns.
She said: "I decide to rally the support of fellow National Lottery winners, who I know are keen knitters, to bring some practical help and hopefully a smile to faces following these difficult times."
Cheryl Brudenell, from Stockton on Tees, who won £1 million in 1997, is helping Mrs Crossland knit twiddlemuffs.
She said: "It's so important to use whatever skills we have to help the community right now.
"I have focused a lot of my efforts on knitting for premature babies but I am delighted to now be joining Susan in this latest campaign."
Age Concern has agreed to distribute the items knitted by the lottery winners to hundreds of vulnerable and elderly people when it is safe to do so after lockdown restrictions are lifted.
Suzanne Carr, CEO of Age Concern Lancashire, said: "This is a great example of a small deed that can go a long way.
"These will definitely bring lots of smiles to our dementia customers and particularly their carers at this difficult time."Published: by Radio NewsHub