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Hospital knitting appeal gets global response

Norfolk Knitters and Stitchers with dementia support worker Claudia Rumford.

Norfolk Knitters and Stitchers with dementia support worker Claudia Rumford.

Archant

Knitters across the world have responded overwhelmingly to an appeal from the N&N for special bands to be made for people with dementia.

Knitters wanted

An estimated 16,400 people in Norfolk have dementia (either diagnosed or undiagnosed).

That is equivalent to around one in 53 people in the county, or the combined population of Cromer, Hunstanton, and Holt, while an additional 9,000 people are expected to be affected by the illness in the next 20 years.

The greatest growth will be in the over-90s.

To coincide with their knitting appeal, the N&N launched a social media campaign called #iCare.

Liz Yaxley said: “We also ask our knitters to take photos of themselves making the sensory bands and send it to us on Twitter using the hashtag to show the variety of ways we can help patients with dementia.

“It’s so nice to see the creations online that are coming our way and that people enjoy making their individual creations.”

Knitters can obtain a pattern from www.nnuh.nhs.uk and send completed items to Communications, Level 4 West Outpatient, NNUH, Colney Lane, Norwich, NR4 7UY.

The hospital launched an appeal during Dementia Awareness Week last month urging people to create sensory bands which can be therapeutic for patients and help them relax.

And knitters did not disappoint as bands began to arrive from places such as Florida, France, Ireland, Scotland, Isle of Wight, Channel Islands, and Cornwall.

This week the hospital received its 200th band. “We have been overwhelmed with the number that we have received, as well as how far the items have travelled in order to help our patients with dementia,” said Liz Yaxley, integrated dementia services project manager at the hospital.

“The sensory band is designed to help people find comfort in tactile stimulation which they may be missing, especially when they are away from home.

“The bands can be reassuring and help people feel more relaxed and safe.”

The sensory bands are offered to patients with dementia on specialist wards, and in the A&E department and outpatient clinic areas.

A number of the bands have been made by Norfolk Knitters and Stitchers.

“We are so thankful to everyone who has spared the time to help our patients,” Ms Yaxley said. “It is invaluable to the patients themselves.”

Have you got a health story? Email our health correspondent at nicholas.carding@archant.co.uk

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