Purl of an idea to help premature babies


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Two care home residents have come up with a “purl” of an idea to help premature babies.

Christine Milner, 67, and Barbara Roberts, 77, have been knitting and crocheting blankets and beanie hats for the Premature Baby Unit at the Maelor Hospital in Wrexham.

The duo also have a good natter while they’re knitting together at Pendine Park’s Gwern Alyn care home in Percy Road.

According to enrichment and activities coordinator Yvonne Moran, the pair have produced some beautiful knitted items.

Christine, who is Wrexham born and bred, has been a resident of Gwern Alyn for less than a year says she enjoys living at the care home.

She said: “It took a while to get used to the idea this was now my home but the staff are wonderful. I’ve always liked knitting and crocheting it’s something I’ve always done. I used to knit things for the cancer shop in Wrexham too.

“I don’t need a pattern anymore as I know each step I need to do to crotchet a baby blanket, I’ve made so many.

“I have in the past made blankets for the Premature Baby Unit; it takes about a day and a half to make a blanket and about half-an-hour to knit a beanie hat.

“I buy the wool myself and some of the staff bring in wool for me too. I’m going to keep going making more blankets and beanie hats. I just think it’s a nice thing to do and it’s something I can enjoy.”

Barbara Roberts, who used to work for the Inland Revenue as a clerical assistant and has been a Gwern Alyn resident for a little over a year, said: “I’ve always enjoyed knitting and making things that we can send to the hospital. Crocheting is better than knitting for me as I find it faster and I enjoy it a bit more.

“I enjoy chatting to Christine while we sit knitting, it’s really enjoyable and I love creating something that can be sent to the hospital to help premature babies.”

Yvonne added: “I’ve always liked knitting myself and when Christine came to live here I saw how much she liked it. It’s important when someone comes to live in a care home that they maintain their interests and continue doing the things they enjoy.

“I had a chat with Christine and we decided it would be a good thing to make blankets and beanie hats that we could donate to the premature baby unit at the Maelor Hospital.

“Barbara got involved and the ladies have worked really hard and made some fabulous garments and blankets.”

She added: “I like the fact the ladies are continuing with the interests they had before coming into a care setting and have also become firm friends.

“It’s really important to keep active and enjoy doing the things you have always enjoyed. It’s also really good therapy and exercise for the hands and fingers and there is lots of multi-tasking involved which is also a good thing.

“I’m delighted to have been able to take the wonderful blankets and beanie hats Christine and Barbara have made to the Maelor’s Premature Baby Unit. And the ladies are already well into making their next batch of garments.”

Gwern Alyn manager Jen Roberts said: “This is a lovely gesture by two lovely ladies and I am sure the knitted items will be put to good use in keeping the tiny, premature babies warm and cosy.

“It’s an important part of the Pendine Park ethos that we use the arts and various other activities to enrich the lives of people across the generations. Our enrichment programme involves art in all its forms including music, poetry, storytelling and painting.”

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