Longhurst Group customers knit together to support premature babies

Two residents at our Martin Court independent living scheme have used their passion for knitting to create items for premature babies.

Doris Biggs and Sheila Steels have developed a close friendship since meeting and the pair, who regularly attend the scheme’s knit and natter group, have now been busy knitting dozens of hats for babies born prematurely at Peterborough City Hospital.

They hope to continue knitting the hats for the hospital “as long as they are wanted”.

Doris, 85, who has lived at Martin Court for 11 years, took up knitting as therapy following a stroke.

She said: “I did a lot of sewing before but now I’m unable to sew so knitting has helped me get some movement back.

“I worked in the District Hospital some years ago with the babies, so the cause is close to my heart. I got Sheila involved when we met and became good friends.

“Previously, I have knitted as part of the Help the Aged smoothie hats a few years ago and have also donated baby hats to other hospitals.”

Sheila, 61, has lived at Martin Court for five years. She said: “We both love to knit for the babies as it makes us feel useful and we enjoy doing it.

“In the past, I’ve crocheted blankets for Millhouse Animal Sanctuary and Wood Green Rescue centre and we want to keep knitting the hats as long as we can and they are wanted.

“I love knitting, it helps me relax.”

Each premature baby born at the hospital is given a hat, which can't be used for more than one baby as the sterilizing process shrinks them.

Emma Aqué, Service Manager at Martin Court, said: “I am incredibly proud of what the ladies are doing.

“It is lovely to see residents getting actively involved in things outside of our community, especially when they have found out what is needed themselves. It’s great to see the positive impact it has on their lives too.

“We have done regular activities to support charities. We have raised money through quiz nights, afternoon teas, coffee mornings and much more for many charities and have donated items for Children of Chernobyl and Mill House Animal Sanctuary near Sheffield.”

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