Hats off to the nursing home knitting team

Resident Joan Peel with the Hats

Submitted by Sara Teiger

The residents and staff at Rothley Nursing Home are proof of this, if you want to get ahead, wear a hat!

Mountview Care Home have contracted to knit 66 miniature beanies by the end of June, to raise funds for Age UK – meaning one for each bedroom in the luxury care home and care for people with dementia.

Each of the handmade caps will end up atop an innocent smoothie or juice bottle as part of the annual The Big Knit Campaign.

The Big Knit is a partnership between Age UK and innocent drinks that sees dozens of knitters across the country picking up their needles to make tiny bobble beanies. For every hat bottle sold, innocent will donate 25p to charity. Since 2003, the annual knit-a-thon has raised over £3million for Age UK.

One of the care home’s most dedicated knitters is Joan Peel, 97, who has lived in Mountview, on Loughborough Road in Rothley, since March 2020.

Joan with some of the hats

She said: “I’ve always loved knitting, so why stop? Knitting for charity gives me even more pleasure, knowing that the money raised will make a difference for so many people.

“I like to keep my hands busy while chatting with other residents.”

Staff at the home, which is operated by Ideal Carehomes, have also been involved in the campaign and senior carers Vicki Willoughby and Yvonne Bayley have been particularly keen to show off their knitting credentials.

Vicki said: “I love all things crafty and creative and really enjoy helping residents get involved with The Big Knit, as well as throwing in my own fun sized caps in my spare time.

“Any excuse to pick up my knitting needles!” At Christmas, I knitted two snowmen for a resident to give to her grandchildren and she was thrilled! The Big Knit inspired me to keep creating.


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Yvonne said: “I find knitting really therapeutic on my days off, so I was really excited to get involved in this charity knitting.

“I can sit back and relax knowing I’m doing my part for a charity close to my heart.”

Nikky Miles, Corporate Fundraiser, Age UK Leicestershire & Rutland, said: “We have a target of 74,000 hats and so far we have knit 58,585 which means we need to knit 15. 415 more by the end of June 2022.

“Knitting innocent hats is a great way to raise money to support your local Age UK. innocent is donating 25 pence per hat and all of this money goes towards providing vital services to local seniors.

“We still have some way to go to reach our goal by the end of June and it is great to have the support of Ideal Carehomes, a member of our EngAGE business club, and their residents to help us achieve this. this goal.”

Vicki Willoughby with the hats

On the Age UK Leicestershire & Rutland Facebook page, a spokesperson for innocent said: “We wouldn’t be able to run this campaign without knitting legends like the residents of Mountview Care Home. Many thanks for everything their hard work.”

The special fundraising bottles will hit stores later this year.

Anyone wishing to help Mountview Care Home reach their goal of 66 miniature beanies can drop off or post their hand knit beanies to 1093 Loughborough Road, Rothley LE7 7NL by June 15, 2022.

You can find an assortment of knitting patterns on the Age UK website here.


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