This month’s charity is Preemies UK, which encourages knitters and crocheters to make handmade cardigans, hats, blankets and toys for premature babies around the UK.
The organisation is run by Shelley Mitchell through the Preemies UK Facebook page and the volunteers have been sending boxes since 2006. So far, 25,729 items have been sent out to neonatal units across the country, and that number is continuously growing thanks to an increase in generous knitters.
Ella-jo was born at Wigan infirmary at 26 weeks, weighing 1lb
“We normally send a box full of items that the unit wants, such as hats, blankets, cardigans and ventilator bonnets,” said Shelley. “But it depends on what the hospital needs. Occasionally we get personal requests from parents who want burial items for their angel babies.”
While the page has almost 5,000 likes, they are always in need of more supplies of yarn, ribbons and buttons – as well as volunteers to help knit the much-needed baby accessories.
“We get loads of letters and messages from hospitals to say thank you for the items they have received, and how much it’s appreciated by the families. We also get parents who send us pictures of their babies which we put on the Facebook page.”
Olivia was born at Worcester Royal Hospital at 28 weeks, weighing 2lbs 6oz
Preemies has recently been nominated for the Butterfly awards, which aims to support organisations who work to raise awareness of baby loss. Shelley said: “I was really shocked at being nominated, and even more so at being shortlisted for the awards. It means a lot to me as Preemies UK has helped so many families at the hardest times of their lives. It makes me feel so proud of what we have achieved over the last seven years.”
To get involved, visit the Preemies UK Facebook page, or email email@example.com.
Items can be sent to 138 Farmers Green, Droitwich, Worcs, WR9 9EH.