Newton Lodge stitch in time for Christmas


Staff and service users on Newton Lodge have successfully created a knitted charity Christmas blanket to donate to children in Africa…despite not knowing how to knit!

A knitted Christmas tree
Newton Lodge’s knitted Christmas tree

Staff on the medium secure forensic unit thought it would be a good idea to teach service users how to knit so that they would be able to support the ‘Knit-a-square’ charity project.

Lead occupational therapist Kim Somerford took to YouTube to learn all about casting on and purl stitches, and after a few hours felt confident enough to demonstrate some new stitching skills to the knitting novices.

Service users were then able to take part in a relaxed teaching session with staff, providing an opportunity to explore their new hobby.

Kim said: “It soon became clear there were people who took to knitting straight away and found it relaxing. For others, it was a little harder due to dexterity or concentration.

“We found that everyone was enjoying learning together so we looked at other knitting opportunities, and found ‘French knitting’ and pom pom making. This made sure that everyone could be involved.”

The team decided on creating a Christmas tree decoration where everyone could contribute their woolly works on their ‘Creative Christmas Day’ – from pom pom baubles and a knitted square tree to French knitted tinsel.

The unit has now made over 50 knitted squares and will be sending them all to the ‘Knit-a-square’ project in the new year. Squares donated through the project are sent to Africa to be sewn into blankets for people who need them.

Service users are looking forward to continuing their craft and are hoping to move on to making dolls.


Newton Lodge stitch in time for Christmas

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