Hats off to care home knitting crew

Residents and staff at a Rothley care home are proof of the expression if you want to get ahead get a hat!

Between now and the end of June, Mountview Care Home have tasked themselves with knitting 66 miniature bonnets to raise funds for Age UK – that’s one for every bedroom at the luxury dementia and residential care home.

Each of the handmade headdresses will end up atop a bottle of innocent smoothie or juice as part of the annual The Big Knit campaign.

The Big Knit is a partnership between Age UK and innocent drinks which sees scores of knitters across the country take up their needles to craft tiny bobble hats. For each behatted bottle sold, innocent will donate 25p to the charity. Since 2003, the annual knit-a-thon has raised over £3m for Age UK.

One of the care home’s most dedicated knitters is 97-year-old Joan Peel, who has lived at Mountview, on Loughborough Road in Rothley, since March 2020.

She said: “I’ve always loved to knit, so why stop? Knitting for charity is giving me even more pleasure, knowing the money raised will make a difference for so many people.

“I’m enjoying keeping my hands busy whilst chatting with other residents.”

Staff at the home, which is operated by Ideal Carehomes, have also been getting involved with the campaign and senior carers, Vicki Willoughby and Yvonne Bayley have been particularly keen to show off their knitting credentials.

Vicki said: “I just love everything crafty and creative and am really enjoying supporting residents to get involved with The Big Knit, as well as casting off my own fun-size caps during my spare time.

“Any excuse really to pick up my knitting needles! Over Christmas I knitted two snowmen for a resident to give to her grandchildren and she was overwhelmed! The Big Knit has spurred me on to keep creating”

Yvonne said “I find knitting really therapeutic on my days off so was really pleased to get involved with this charity knit.

“I can sit and relax whilst knowing that I’m doing my part for a charity that is close to my heart’.

Nikky Miles, corporate fundraiser, Age UK Leicestershire & Rutland, said: “We have a target of 74,000 hats and so far we have knitted 58,585, which means that we have to knit another 15,415 by the end of June 2022.

“Knitting hats for innocent is a great way to fundraise to support your local Age UK. innocent donates 25p per hat and all this money goes towards providing vital services for local older people.

“We still have some way to go to reach our target by the end of June and it’s great to have the support of our EngAGE business club member Ideal Carehomes and their residents to help us reach that target.”

Posting on the Age UK Leicestershire & Rutland Facebook page, a spokesperson from innocent, said: “We wouldn’t be able to run this campaign without knitting legends like the residents at Mountview Care Home. A massive thank you for all their hard work.”

The special fundraising bottles will be in the shops later in the year.

Mountview is a luxury care home with 66 ensuite bedrooms, operated by Ideal Carehomes. With landscaped sensory gardens, a traditional tearoom and a daily, varied activity programme, it is rated good by the Care Quality Commission.