Cobalt charity worker Karen, along with her mum and friend, is keeping dementia patients in supply of some amazing knits. The knitted tubes, affectionately known as Twiddlemuffs keep the hands of dementia patients busy at the Fritchie Centre run by 2Gether NHS Foundation Trust based in Charlton Lane, Cheltenham.
The knitted sleeves Karen creates are made out of all sorts of oddments of wool and additional pieces of interest are sewn on such as stretchy elastic, textured materials or even buttons. They can be made in the person’s favourite colours or reflect the strip of their football or other sports team.
Joanne Parker, Activities Coordinator at 2Gether NHS Foundation Trust said ‘The Twiddlemuffs Karen makes provide comfort and help to reduce anxiety for our patients. People with dementia may show anxiety or nervousness through fidgety hands. They may pull or rub at clothes or wring their hands’.
Picture attached: Left to right – Joanne Parker, Activities Co-ordinator, 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, Mrs Edna Cook, Karen Jones, Bookings Clerk, Cobalt.
Karen works in the busy Bookings team of local medical charity Cobalt and makes the Twiddlemuffs in her spare time.
Karen said ‘I first came up with the idea whilst looking for a new charity knitting project. My mum sent me a magazine article about Twiddlemuffs and that a local hospital in Bristol were looking for people to make some. I approached the Fundraising Team here at Cobalt, being a local charity and because of their work with dementia and the Fritchie Centre and 2Gether NHS Foundation Trust to see if they would be interested in receiving any and it started from there. They are fun, relaxing and easy to make. The creative possibilities are endless. I’m really pleased that people get enjoyment and comfort from them’.
Cobalt’s current fundraising campaign supports their dementia work. The Dementia Futures Fund sets out to raise money to fund dementia research nurses, research trials using specialist equipment, free scans for patients with young onset dementia and a partnership with local hospitals to enhance facilities for patients with dementia and their families.
The money raised through the Dementia Futures Fund will be spent directly on the Charity’s contribution to research trials and their collaborative work with the NHS, particularly the 2gether NHS Foundation Trust. Cobalt’s diagnostic imaging equipment can be used to help diagnose dementia as well as other conditions.’
Memory loss can be a common symptom of old age. Dementias are severe forms of cognitive impairment that affect functions of the brain. Symptoms can vary widely including memory loss, confusion and changes in mood and behavior.