How a South Shields knitting group is helping vulnerable babies in hospital

Residents at a sheltered housing scheme in South Tyneside have been knitting together to make a difference to mothers and babies in hospital.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 15 January, 2019, 05:00
The group recently delivered their knitted gifts to the Special Care Baby Unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead. (L-R) Lisa Wheatley from the Special Care Baby Unit, Thelma Ramm, Jackie Carr, Resident Liaison Officer at ENGIE, Margaret Woodthorpe and Linda Pennock.

A group of keen knitters from Falstone Avenue Sheltered Housing in South Shields have made more than 200 ‘bonding squares’ for babies at the Special Care Baby Unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Gateshead.

The group have joined forces with energy and regeneration specialist ENGIE on the project, which has seen knitted squares placed with both the mother and the baby in hospital.

The group recently delivered their knitted gifts to the Special Care Baby Unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead. (L-R) Lisa Wheatley from the Special Care Baby Unit, Thelma Ramm, Jackie Carr, Resident Liaison Officer at ENGIE, Margaret Woodthorpe and Linda Pennock.

The two squares are swapped over every 12 hours to help each bond by smell.

The knitting group has also made more than 20 blankets for the infants.

The sessions were originally set up by ENGIE resident liaison officer Jackie Carr while the company is carrying out improvement work to the sheltered scheme, on behalf of Clarion Housing Group.

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Jackie said: “We are thrilled that this initiative has been such a success.

“These squares make such a difference to the babies and their parents while they are spending time in hospital, and the residents of Falstone Avenue jumped at the chance to get involved.

“The group has enjoyed this project so much they’re keen to do the same for other hospitals in the area, so it looks like the knitting and nattering is set to continue!”

Members of the group accompanied Jackie to the Special Care Baby Unit to hand over their donations.

Lesley Heelbeck, head of midwifery at the QE, said: “Huge thank you to everyone who took part in this fantastic project – it has made such a difference to families staying in our Special Care Baby Unit.”