Neonatal Knitters, based in Tameside, knits, sews and crochets clothes for neonatal babies born at St Mary’s and Tameside Hospital.

Often premature babies cannot fit into clothes made for newborns in high street shops. This is where Neonatal Knitters comes in. Clothes knitted by the group give comfort to parents and warmth to the baby when they need it the most. In the unfortunate occasion of the baby not making it, parents are also given the opportunity to take the items home as a keepsake. Clothes are provided to the parents at no cost and provide them with good quality knitted clothing for their little one to stay warm when their immune system is at an all time low.

The group meets once a week and has a wide age range from 20-98-year-olds and brings people from all walks of life together. They also do not discriminate, as some people don’t like how busy the group can get with 20+ attendees, they knit from home and send the items in for the group to pass on to the two hospitals.

Since its conception the group has continued to grow and grow, with ladies who love to knit finding out about them and wanting to get involved with such a great cause.

A young women in her early 20s went to the group as one of their youngest members. She suffers from severe depression, anxiety and low self-esteem, amongst other issues. She went to the group with a family member for support and settled into the group very quickly.

She taught herself to crochet prior to joining Neonatal Knitters and made beanies and blankets for the group. As people saw her working away they asked her to teach and help them when they were in difficulties; this improved her confidence and self-esteem greatly. She also made friends with the older members, who shared their own skills and knowledge.

This individual said Neonatal Knitters and learning a new craft has helped her, and this is the first time she has mixed with other people in a long time.