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Call for donations as talented hospital manager gets crafty for the care of dementia patients

PicMonkey CollageA member of staff at Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust and volunteers from the Lingard House ‘knit and natter’ group in Walmley are putting their craft skills to the test by making twiddle muffs for patients with dementia. And they are looking for donations of wool, buttons and ribbons to help them.

Twiddle muffs are hand muffs decorated with ribbons, large buttons or textured fabrics that patients with dementia can twiddle in their hands whilst on the elderly wards at Heartlands, Solihull and Good Hope Hospitals. People with dementia often have restless hands and like something to keep them occupied. The twiddle muffs provide a source of visual, tactile and sensory stimulation at the same time as keeping hands snug and warm.

An avid crocheter, operations manager for women’s and children’s services at the Trust, Angela McKenna-Hylton got the idea from other Trusts who use the muffs – and has a target of making 100 twiddle muffs this year.

Irene Britton, a member of the knit and natter group at Lingard House in Walmley, which is run by the Sutton Coldfield Charitable Trust, contacted the Trust to see if there were any projects the group could get involved with, and is helping Angela meet her target.  Irene said: “My sister made a twiddle muff for my brother-in-law and he enjoyed having it so I thought it would be a nice gesture for me and the ladies to help and give something back for the wonderful care he received at Heartlands Hospital.”

Angela said: “We are hoping that people will generously donate their spare bits of wool, buttons, and ribbons so they can be put to good use and make more twiddle muffs. They are an excellent way of helping to combat the restlessness and agitation that may be experienced by patients with dementia. This project is part of a wide range of work we are doing to support our patients with dementia and we would love to have your help.”

Please send any haberdashery you would like to donate to: Angela McKenna-Hylton in children’s outpatients at Heartlands Hospital.

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