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WOOLLEN chicks were rolling off the knitting needles at a Saltburn care home when residents took part in a knit-a-thon for a good cause.

Residents at Hazelgrove Court Care Home, on Randolph Street, produced dozens of the little yellow creatures to raise funds for charity Versus Arthritis.

The charity partnered with The Knitting Network to launch the knit-a-thon – a virtual fundraising challenge that sees participants pick up their knitting needles or crotchet hooks and knit for as long as they can to support the 10 million people living with arthritis.

They sold their knitted chicks for £1 each and have so far raised £75 for Versus Arthritis – which supports the development of treatments, raises awareness of the condition, and supports those affected.

Eric Starsmore, 81, who recently knitted dozens of poppies for Remembrance Day, said: “I didn’t think I’d be knitting so soon after doing all the poppies but it’s for a good cause and it was fun knitting with the ladies.”

Carol Coppinger, 89, added: “I really wanted to do this as I know people who live with arthritis and it’s good to do something that will help.”

Sharon Lewis, activities coordinator at Hazelgrove Court Care Home, said: “Our residents love a knitting project.

“We had a residents’ meeting and I suggested the Versus Arthritis knit-a-thon, which everyone thought was a good idea.

“Resident Joyce Baxtrum suggested knitting the chicks as it’s coming up to Easter.  The chicks have been a big hit.

“Knitting is great therapy anyway, but it also keeps your fingers nimble, which helps keep arthritis in the fingers at bay. The knitting sessions are always a great laugh, with plenty of tea and biscuits.”

Following the knit-a-thon, several residents attended the Knitting Cabaret at the Saltburn Community Hall.

Singer Melanie Gall performed First and Second World War songs about knitting and told stories of how knitting played a part in both wars.

A favourite of resident Joyce Baxtrem, 91, was Glenn Miller’s “Knit One, Purl Two”. She said: “I’ve never been to a show before where I could take my knitting along.  I’m going to take it with me wherever I go now.”

Judith Pearson, 77, added: “I loved Glenn Miller and had no idea he’d written a tune about knitting. It was really great.”

Other stories included how opera singer Enrico Caruso allowed his audience to knit for the war effort during his concerts. And how spy Phyllis Labour Foyle would hide her codes in her knitting by using patterns.

Sharon said: “It was a lovely way to finish off the latest knitting project. Who knew there were so many songs about knitting?

“What a wonderful afternoon we had socialising with other knitting enthusiasts and community members.”

By admin