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Ready, steady, knit! Extra hands needed to make 6,000 hats for hospital baby unit

PUBLISHED: 16:04 27 February 2020 | UPDATED: 16:04 27 February 2020

Margaret Whittaker, Gwyneth Archibald and Jane Chapman from the Loddon and district WI who have been knitting for neo-natal babies at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Margaret Whittaker, Gwyneth Archibald and Jane Chapman from the Loddon and district WI who have been knitting for neo-natal babies at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Archant

Keen knitters are needed to help make 6,000 hats to give to newly born babies at a Norwich hospital.

The different coloured hats are given to newborn babies at the Norfolk and Norwich hospital. The colour signifying how vulnerable they are at any given time. Picture: Neil DidsburyThe different coloured hats are given to newborn babies at the Norfolk and Norwich hospital. The colour signifying how vulnerable they are at any given time. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Loddon WI and district members begun the project at Christmas to knit thousands of pieces of headwear in traffic light colours at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

Members meet at open house events in the week and have made 100 of the hats since Christmas.

To ensure they can reach their target, they are asking the community to spare time to make hats in red, yellow or green yarn.

More than 5,000 babies are born every year at the hospital.

Gwyneth Archibald and Carol Erwin from Loddon WI knitting for newborn babies at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. Picture: Neil DidsburyGwyneth Archibald and Carol Erwin from Loddon WI knitting for newborn babies at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. Picture: Neil Didsbury

The hats meanings show the level of risk of each baby, red meaning a child requiring more observation, amber for those who may require a little more attention because they were born prematurely or low birth weight, and green meaning routine inspection.

Margaret Whittaker, secretary of Loddon and District WI, said: "The requirement is for 6,000 hats we are hoping to get to our first 100 very soon.

"We have some amazing knitters but we have some ladies who come who do not knit.

"They come for the company and the chat and the cake and the tea. They can get involved. We do have people who do not belong to our group who are knitting and supplying us with the hats.

Members of the Loddon and District Women's Institute have been busy knitting coloured woolly hats for newborn babies at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. Picture: Neil DidsburyMembers of the Loddon and District Women's Institute have been busy knitting coloured woolly hats for newborn babies at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. Picture: Neil Didsbury

"We aim to get to our first 100 soon."

The group have received donations of wool or purchased it themselves to create the hats which have either a circumference of 13-16 inches (33-41cm) or measure 11-inch circumference (28cm).

Mrs Whittaker estimated the smaller hats took around 30 minutes to make and the larger between 45 minutes to an hour.

She added: "They do not take very long because they are very small."

Members are also hard at work making trauma teddies, which are carried by emergency crews to be given to distressed children.

All WI groups within the Norfolk Federation are taking part to make the teddies, which they will bring along to the Theatre Royal for its annual meeting in April.

Mrs Whittaker added: "We have got quite a few."

If you would like to get involved with the Loddon WI traffic light hat project, visit loddon.org.uk/loddonwp/wi/ to find out more.

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