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A group of knitters are knitting together to help people with dementia

A group of knitters who meet regularly in a city library are stitching together to help people living with dementia.

Canton Library’s Knit and Natter group meet every Friday morning for a chat while working on their latest woolly project and have recently turned their attention to making twiddle muffs to help people with dementia who can often have restless hands.

Twiddle muffs are aknitted, crocheted or fabric tube, with different textures and accessories such as ribbons and buttons sewn on to them. They can help ease a person’s agitation and calm their mood by keeping their hands and minds occupied.

Knit and Natter group member, Anne Walker said:

“I was at the Dementia Café at the library when one of the ladies from Central Library Hub mentioned twiddle muffs and brought one in to show us. So I mentioned twiddle muffs to our knitting group that meets on Fridays and we thought it would be something we could do.”

Meeting every Friday in Canton Library from 10.30am until 12pm with around 12 regulars, the Knit and Natter group recently marked their fourth anniversary. The group regularly hold sales at the library to sell their knitted items and then donate the proceeds to a different charity each time.

One of the original members, Carole Thompson, admits it’s more than knitting that keeps the group together.

She said:

“It’s a real networking group and very social. You don’t bring a pattern that’s complicated because you can’t concentrate too much. A lot of people enjoy it and say it’s a lifesaver. They would miss it if it wasn’t here and it’s very good for our wellbeing.”

Anne added:

“This group really came into its own when someone in the group became ill and we all started swapping phone numbers to keep an eye on each other. There is a real sense of community here and personally, it’s been the best thing in the world.

“We’re happy to support the dementia café by knitting the twiddle muffs. We have them here and if somebody wants them that needs them, they are welcome to have them.”

Cabinet Member for Social Care, Health and Wellbeing, Cllr Susan Elsmore, said:

“Cardiff is working with the Alzheimer’s Society and other partners to make our city more dementia-friendly, in an effort to improve the lives of those affected by dementia.

“Canton Knit and Natter group are very much playing their part in that work.  It’s wonderful to see a group of people come together regularly for knitting and friendship, which avoids social isolation,  making such a kind gesture to help people living with dementia.”

Canton Library extends a warm welcome to its dementia café, a safe space to meet and make friends for those living with dementia, their carers and health professionals. The café is held on the last Wednesday of every month from 2.30 – 3.30pm.