Battersea dogs will be kept warm thanks to a patient knitting project – and they’re hoping to see their work on the television!
Led by activity co-ordinator Diana Parkinson, patients at Greenwich Integrated Care Unit in Eltham have been busy knitting squares to produce blankets for Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.
Knitting is offered in addition to crosswords, reading, word searches and Sudoku, but has proved a popular past-time, with some patients knitting into the small hours.
Diana said: “I thought it would be good to have a project rather than just knitting random items with no end goal. Some patients are very competent, others have done it in the past but find big projects too much nowadays so just being able to complete something small which contributes to the overall goal is enough. Sometimes a few patients will sit together in the dayroom, knitting and chatting away, while some patients become quite addicted and sit knitting away in their beds into the small hours!
“The majority of our patients are in their 80s and 90s and not looking to learn new skills, but they do gain a certain amount of satisfaction from contributing to such a worthy cause.
“We chose Battersea because one of the Paul O'Grady series was on at the time and some of us had seen him with the dogs in Battersea with what were similar blankets we decided that would be where we would send them.
“So far in our two years we have sent 11 blankets, all delivered personally and warmly received. We are hoping that one day we might recognise one of our blankets on the programme!”
The multi-agency unit allows people to be cared for in the community rather than in hospital. This care may be provided in their own homes or in intermediate care facilities until they can return home. The ethos is to give people time and support to regain their independence wherever possible.