Sarah Barker from the Knit and Natter group, who meet at St Peter and St John’s Church on Clifton Road, recently presented a collection of ‘twiddlemuffs’ to nurses at the Hospital of St Cross.

Twiddlemuffs are knitted hand muffs with textured items attached inside and out, which have been shown to be stimulating and soothing for patients with dementia and other memory conditions.  Patients are also invited to take them away with them after their stay in hospital.

Cheryl Stokes, Clinical Sister at Hoskyn Ward, was delighted with the range of designs and colours and said “these are wonderful pieces of craftwork that cannot be bought and will be so much appreciated by patients, their relatives, carers and the staff on the ward. Many patients suffering from dementia or confusion can become quite agitated when they are in the strange surroundings of a hospital and we find that when they are given a twiddlemuff they fidget with the buttons and different textures and are distracted and become calmer.

Twiddlemuffs also have a therapeutic benefit for patients who have restricted movement in their hands or fingers, as keeping their hands active by twiddling the beads, buttons or ribbons helps exercise their joints.”

Sarah said “it was lovely to meet the staff and see how keen they were to hand the twiddlemuffs out to the patients. I am sure the group will be even more motivated to make more for patients attending the hospital or are resident in nursing homes.”

To get a pattern or find out more, please contact Arts Coordinator, Emma Linnane, at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Two other knitting groups have supported the Friends this Easter! Both the Ball of Yarn group and the Ladies of Hannover Gardens prepared for Easter by knitting chicks which they filled with Crème eggs and sold to raise funds for the Friends. The Ladies included these in a sale in Out Patients before hosting a Cuppa and Craft event in Hanover gardens – the total they have raised this year is £850!

Willy Goldschmidt, Chairman of the Friends of St Cross, said “The variety of ways in which the community supports the Hospital and the Charity is wonderful. We are deeply grateful for this and look forward to hearing of other innovative ways in which people choose to support us.”

Photo  L-R Naomi Walsh, Health Care Assistant, Cheryl Stokes, Clinical Sister, and Sarah Barker trying out a selection of twiddlemuffs in the Bluebell Lounge at the hospital.