An Ellesmere Port care home has had the 300th donation from a group which supports those living with dementia.
The donation of 44 items by Handmade For Dementia North West and UK was made to Aaron Court Care Home on Princes Road.
It included 20 dementia twiddle mitts, 20 dementia fidget blankets and four dementia fidget boards.
The group was started by Sharon Holdstock, a professional singer in care homes, retirement homes, clubs and holiday parks for over 30 years who also volunteers at The Hospice of the Good Shepherd.
Sharon, who now runs the initiative, first found out about a wonderful NHS pattern ‘Dementia Twiddle Mitts’, at the hospice.
Another volunteer showed her one of the mitts and said they were really easy to knit ‘why don’t you try to make one?’.
That evening Sharon started to knit her first mitt, then another and then another and it soon became obvious that something had to be done with them.
She realised the items could be given to care homes and their residents as they would be helpful for a person living with dementia ‘as they twiddle with the buttons, bits and ribbons that are securely sewn on to them and hopefully most of the time they appease the symptoms of agitation and restlessness’.
Sharon said: “It was also clear that if more mitts were going to be given to local care homes, more help was needed to make them.”
She started a Facebook group in March 2016 and, slowly but surely this has grown and now meets every Monday.
In 2017 they plan to donate to as many people in the Cheshire West and Chester area as possible.
In an effort to keep costs down they always require:
Wool, ribbons, zips.
Old and new buttons.
Material, blankets, quilt covers (any size), old curtains, fleece, velvet ‘all fab for making fidget blankets’.
Lace bits, fringe bits.
Men’s old ties, braces, thick trainer laces.
Plug sockets, light switches and backs, unbroken. Old electrical plugs.
Door handles, old window locks.
Bicycle bells, old doorbell fronts.
Door chains & bolts, padlocks and keys.
Sharon adds: “In fact anything that can be ‘fiddled with’ and attached safely to a mitt, blanket or board.”
Items can be taken to the Ellesmere Port Community Hub on Whitby Road near the HSBC bank.
A member of the group said: “Dementia takes so much away from the individual and their families.
“To make something that will bring them some peace and hopefully enjoyment and costs so little, is our pleasure.”
If you or anyone you know would like to help the group make the items please contact sharon on e mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The group can also be visited on their Facebook page.