The Health Tree Foundation The Health Tree Foundation

WI knits for dementia care

Tetney Women’s Institute have been busy knitting teddies for dementia patients at Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital.

The ladies heard about the Grimsby hospital’s need for teddies through one of their members’ daughters who works at the hospital and couldn’t wait to get their needles tapping.

The ladies get together once a fortnight for a knitting session, vice president Anne Wright said: “The chatter is just as good as the knitting”.

As very experienced knitters the ladies have made items for a variety of causes over the years including blankets for women’s refuge homes and hats for premature babies.

The Tetney Women’s Insitute celebrated its 95th year in 2015 and their oldest member is 92 and still knitting every fortnight.

Rachel Greenbeck, quality matron and lead for dementia at the Trust said: “We have found that giving patients a teddy bear or something soft can help with distraction and can also help patients to interact, which can help with reducing the likelihood of withdrawing into themselves from what is happening around them.

“The teddies can help alleviate agitation or distress, giving the individual a sense of ownership and responsibility which can be extremely beneficial. If a teddy or twiddle muff can help reduce their anxiety and make their hospital stay a better experience then it is something we should try.”

Dementia awareness week is 12 to 15 May 2016. The theme this year is ‘confronting dementia’ urging everyone to come forward and share their stories of dementia by starting off ‘Dear Dementia…”

If you would like to support your local hospital with caring for people with dementia you can do so by donating to the ‘Golden Leaves’ fund, set up especially to support older people and those living with dementia. You can do this either through the JustGiving site, or by contacting Partnerships Manager for The Health Tree Foundation Victoria Winterton at

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