The initiative which started in Aberdeenshire as a response to the ‘fish and chip babies’ who were despatched from hospitals wrapped in newspaper due to the shortage of blankets, caught the eye of residents at Bield’s Gladstone Court after they started a craft club a few months ago.
The group of seven women who stay at the sheltered housing complex, decided to knit vests and hats for new born babies suffering from Aids in Malawi when one group member saw a pattern they could use to take part in the project.
Kate Clark, a resident at Bield’s Gladstone Court, said: “It was great to take part in the knitting project. We are keen knitters and having something like this to focus on made us concentrate on our skills as well as help to contribute towards a great cause.
“Everyone knuckled down for about a month in order to knit as many vests and hats as possible and those who couldn’t knit very kindly donated wool for us to use.”
The residents at Gladstone Court knitted 46 items which have since been collected from Gladstone Court and transported to Malawi.
Jenny Fergus, Peripatetic Scheme Manager at Bield, said: “The knitting project that the ladies from Gladstone Court took part in was something which I found out about when I was attending the Tenants Meeting.
“We are always looking for social events in the Sheltered Housing Schemes so a Knit and Chat social get together was discussed and the Tenants were in agreement of knitting for the babies in Malawai and supporting a good cause.”
“We encourage our tenants as much as possible to interact with each other and having this project on the back of craft class which is often held at Gladstone Court was a great way of doing this.
“There are some great residents who like to get stuck in to these types of projects and it’s brilliant to see everyone clubbing together to help a good cause.”
The project was supported by the NHS healthy Communities Collaborative which works regularly with the women at Gladstone Court on craft projects.
Audra Webster, Project Support Worker for NHS Perth and Kinross Healthy Communities Collaborative, said: "I know that all the people involved had great fun knitting the jumpers and I can't emphasise enough the sense of achievement and benefit to their mental health and wellbeing that these types of activities bring."
Brian Logan, Chief Executive of Bield, said: “This project typifies our free to be approach which we feel embodies what Bield are all about as an organisation.
“We always encourage our service users to keep as active as possible whilst also maintaining an independent lifestyle.”