Sew far, sew good

Lister Hospital’s Voluntary Services team would like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to the Advertiser readers who have recently started a new sewing group to help dementia patients. 

Sew Dementia

The ‘Sew Dementia’ group make activity blankets, which provide visual and tactile stimulation, used to help calm agitated or confused patients.

Janis Hall, voluntary services manager, set up Sew Dementia, with help from Stevenage Hobbycraft and the Advertiser.

She said: “Once the members of the group understood what we needed, the inspiration flowed. Initially only four workshops were planned but the group has been so successful that they are now meeting every second and fourth Wednesday morning in the Community Arts Centre in Stevenage. They’re supplying the hospital with some really beautiful and useful activity blankets.” 

The group not only helps dementia patients, but also the people attending the sessions.

“This group provides members of the community with a chance to meet up with like-minded people and have a good time. A lot of the time, the ladies enjoyed making things but didn’t have a reason to do it, so Sew Dementia has given them that reason. The group helps the patients whilst the patients help the group.” 

Sheelagh Molloy, nursing services manager, said: “The blankets have buttons, zips, ribbons, bows and photos for patients to fiddle with in bed when bored. Lying down in bed means a lack of activity, which can make the patients quite agitated. These blankets calm people down and help stop them wandering by providing them with something to do.” 

The group and Lister’s voluntary services would like to say a special thank you to Emma Page from Hobbycraft who supplied some of the fabric, ribbons, buttons and embellishments. Sew Dementia are still looking for donations of fabric and embellishments (e.g. large buttons, zips, lace, ribbons).

If any Advertiser readers would like to donate, support or find out more about the project, contact Janis Hall on 01438 284285.