Dementia knitting group in Chester seeks support to secure grant

Reporter:

Steve Creswell

A KNITTING group that makes 'twiddle items' as a form of therapy for people with dementia has been shortlisted for a grant.

Handmade for Dementia North West & UK could be in line for a Skipton Building Society Grassroots Grant and are requesting that the residents of Chester help them bag one.

People can visit Skipton's website to vote for the group or drop into the city branch on Northgate Street.

Led by care home singer Sharon Holdstock, it has made and donated a whopping 825 twiddle items to local homes and hospitals since May 2016. These include twiddle mitts, bags, cannula mitts, lap mats, fidget boards and comfort dolls.

Sharon, who recently sang at the Chester Pride festival, volunteers at The Hospice of the Good Shepherd in Backford where she was first introduced to the knitting pattern of the 'twiddle mitt’.

She started making them and soon realised that the care homes that she sings at would benefit residents living with dementia.

As demand soared she looked to recruit more knitters and Handmade for Dementia North West group was started on Facebook.

Kings College and Princess Alexandra Hospitals in London heard about the group and requested a stack of the Twiddle Mitts, so the group widened its range and changed its name to ‘North West and UK’.

The group has recently been working in conjunction with Chester Aid to the Homeless (CATH).

Sharon, who goes by the stage name of Sharon Wallace, said: “We are really pleased that we are working alongside a lovely young man at CATH called John. He is making such a difference by making our dementia fidget boards for us to give to local care homes.

“John, nevertheless could not be making these for us without the help of Danny, from Total Joinery in Newton. He donates every piece of MDF we use to make these boards.”

The group meets at The Piper pub in Hoole on Mondays from 1-3pm.

For more information and to help the group secure its grant visit www.skiptongrg.co.uk/apply-for-funding/2017-shortlisted-groups/north-west/handmade-for-dementia-north-west-uk

Care homes can request the twiddle items by emailing SharonHoldstock@aol.com

Email:

steve.creswell@nwn.co.uk

See full story in the Chester Leader

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