We are proud to support Penistone Knitting Group with a donation to aid the production of face mask extenders during the pandemic for hospitals, care homes and charity staff across South Yorkshire and the UK.
The group was established by Sheryll Dixon after her disabled daughter had to be move into residential care - as her daughter’s carer for over 28 years, Sheryll found herself at a loose end so began knitting clothes for premature babies for Jessops in Sheffield.
Fast forward three years and Sheryll has now been joined by hundreds of other local knitters who kindly volunteer to knit blankets, cardigans, hats, toys, face mask extenders, syringe driver bags for chemotherapy patients, twiddle muffs for dementia patients and lap blankets for the elderly.
The group’s face mask extenders continue to be in high demand as a result of coronavirus, with over 25,000 being donated so far, including 5,000 to Great Ormond Street Hospital. The extenders are being used by thousands of NHS and frontline workers who regularly get in touch with the group to express their gratitude.
Says Sheryll: "We received such fantastic feedback from each of the organisations we knit products for, including comments like this from a hospital located in North Yorkshire:
"Your support is much appreciated during this very difficult time. These ear savers will have an incredible impact on colleagues. Thank you so much for your support, we are extremely grateful for your kindness."
It is wonderful to read and share these comments with the group, it gives us a real sense of purpose and pride."
Commenting on the donation, Sheryll explains: “I burst into tears when I read the email saying the company were giving us a donation. I’ve been applying for grants left, right and centre recently so as not to ask the group for money and this news came at the perfect time.
Keeping going during lockdown has been hard but it’s also given me time to reflect on the multiple benefits of what we do. Not only are we able to help others and support the NHS, knitting also has a huge impact on our collective mental health. Individuals of all ages are getting involved with the group every day.
Knitting gives so much to people, particularly those who are isolating. It’s multipurpose: they know they’ve got something to do, they’ve got a purpose in their lives and they know that what they knit is going to somewhere and someone who’s going to appreciate it. That’s priceless."
The group is home to knitters ranging from 8 to 104 years old and relies entirely on donations and the hard work of its member to maintain its current output.
The money will be specifically used to support both the face mask extender and baby knitting projects. The main things I spend money on are wool, buttons, postage and stationery so we won't have to worry about those for a while that's for sure - thanks Henry Boot Construction!
Sheryll Dixon, Founder, Penistone Knitting Group
Sheryll and her fellow volunteers are doing an incredible job to help others, especially NHS employees and key workers, and look after their own health and wellbeing in the process. We were all so impressed with what they do, we just had to help out with a donation.
Melissa Walsh, Communications & Marketing Co-ordinator, Henry Boot Construction