Knitting group inspired to help premature babies

Published: Mon 14 November, 2022

Members from the Knit and Natter group at Newmarket with their donations for Cosy Clothes for Tiny Miracles.

A local knitting group has donated handmade items to neonatal units across the Midlands to help keep premature babies warm.

The Knit and Natter group at Newmarket in Coalville, were inspired to put their needle work to good use after a premature baby charity put a call out for handmade donations.

Cosy Clothes for Tiny Miracles is a small voluntary group based in Nuneaton which attracts volunteers to make knitted and crocheted goods for unwell or small babies.

Donations are given to the neonatal units at the Leicester Royal Infirmary, Leicester General Hospital and University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire with the group hoping to expand its reach in the future.

Members from the Knit and Natter group previously tried to donate to charity shops but were turned away because items legally need a fibre content and care instructions. They heard of the charity’s appeal, and quickly got to work on making blankets, bonding squares, hats, mittens, boots and cardigans. Crocheted octopuses are also made as the tentacles provide a resemblance to umbilical cords giving comfort to babies in incubators.

The group meets at Newmarket in Coalville, which is owned by North West Leicestershire District Council (NWLDC), every second and fourth Thursday of the month from 10am until 12pm. Anyone interested in joining the group can turn up on the day and all skill levels are welcome.

Therese Willoughby, speaking on behalf of the Knit and Natter group, said: “We are a friendly group of knitting and crocheting enthusiasts that welcomes anyone of any ability.

“Members can come along, work on their own projects or share ideas about other local initiatives, which is how we came to support Cosy Clothes for Tiny Miracles.

“We’re always looking for new members so if you like knitting and crocheting, bring your yarn and needles and come and join in.”

Councillor Andrew Woodman, portfolio holder for community services at North West Leicestershire District Council, said: “It’s really impressive to see the Knit and Natter group, which is probably a hobby for many and a place to meet like-minded people, support such an important cause.

“Donations like this really help the local community and allow voluntary groups like Cosy Clothes for Tiny Miracles to keep up the great work.

“Knit and Natter is open everyone, so if you’re interested in starting a new knitting or crocheting project, and want to meet new people go along and give it a go.”

Diane Ingram, founder of Cosy Clothes for Tiny Miracles, said: “Our support is vital to help keep tiny babies warm and we work with our contacts at each hospital to supply according to their needs and respond to any appeals they put out.

“We currently donate around 6,000 items per year and have 50 or so ladies that knit and crochet for us and are always looking for more volunteers to join us.

“Having had premature twins in the family, it is a cause close to my heart. I’m always very touched by the support we get, including the kind donation from the ladies in the Knit and Natter group.”

For more information about the events and groups at Newmarket, email the council’s markets team at markets@nwleicestershire.gov.uk or call 01530 837785