South Shields primary school pupils knit blanket for disabled Sunderland girl

Forest View Primary School children knitting group donate a blanket to spina bifida sufferer Rubie O'Brien
Forest View Primary School children knitting group donate a blanket to spina bifida sufferer Rubie O'Brien

A Wearside girl born with serious health problems will now be warm and cosy on days out after kind schoolchildren created a beautiful blanket for her.

Pupils at Forest View Primary School in South Shields had proposed having an after-school knitting club to teachers earlier this year.

Forest View Primary School children knitting group donate a blanket to spina bifida sufferer Rubie O'Brien

Forest View Primary School children knitting group donate a blanket to spina bifida sufferer Rubie O'Brien

And after the handy youngsters became adept at the hobby, they stitched together a colourful blanket.

It has now been passed on spina bifida sufferer Rubie O’Brien, from Southwick, who has to use a specially adapted wheelchair to get about.

Jarrow charity Community Corner came to the aid of the two-year-old and her family earlier this year, paying almost £3,000 for the wheelchair which has a glittery pink frame, and is decorated with her name and flashing lights, after Rubie’s mum Ciara Heffernan launched a fund-raising appeal.

Alison Jordan, higher level teaching assistant at the school, said: “We’ve got various clubs to try and cater for all year groups and when some of the children said they wanted to start a knitting club we were happy to.

Forest View Primary School children knitting group donate a blanket to spina bifida sufferer Rubie O'Brien

Forest View Primary School children knitting group donate a blanket to spina bifida sufferer Rubie O'Brien

“All of them had never even picked up knitting needles before.

“When they had knitted all of these squares, we realised we would have to do something with it.

“We’ve been following Rubie’s story and it has touched a lot of people’s hearts.

“We thought it’d be ideal for her to use it when she’s out and about in her chair.

“She’s such as independent little girl and her family are so proud of her.”

Ciara, 25, who alongside partner Kent O’Brien, 26, is also parent to Lillie, five, said: “Community Corner said they had been approached by the school saying that the children wanted to pass on the blanket to Rubie.

“Because of her condition she has really poor circulation in her legs so they get cold really easily.

“She’s OK in the summer but when it comes to winter I have to put tights and leggings on her to keep her warm.”

In September, it is expected that Rubie will undergo a second operation on her hips, as one side does not stay in its joint, and she also has problems with one of her knees.

Ciara added: “We’ve had so many people offering help when we thought we would really struggle with things.

“We never expected that people would be so generous.

“For the children to choose Rubie to have this blanket is very kind and we can’t thank them enough.”