Every Monday lunchtime for the past few years, a group of committed knitters have been coming together to socialise and create handcrafted items for good causes.
The club, aptly named Social Stitchers, is an initiative by Wellington Place that forms part of its community wellbeing programme – a series of regular clubs and events to foster a sense of community across the Leeds business district.
Its most recent project involves knitting and crocheting bonding squares and baby clothes for the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka, Zambia. Bonding squares are incredibly important in neonatal care, giving premature and unwell babies in an incubator the opportunity to bond with their mothers through scent.
West Yorkshire paediatric trainee, Aoife Hurley, has taken them with her on a neonatal fellowship at the hospital. The fellowship role is entirely voluntary, but thanks to grants from local businesses including Wellington Place-based legal firm, Irwin Mitchell LLP, plus Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Aoife will get the opportunity to deliver life-changing neonatal resuscitation training to the hospital’s medical and nursing staff.
The Marketing and Community Manager at MEPC, Wellington Place, Domonique Simcox, said:
“We created the Social Stitchers club as a way of having a bit of fun on a Monday lunchtime. Members always enjoy knitting for a great cause, so when one of the team at Irwin Mitchell LLP mentioned Aoife and the opportunity to create the bonding squares, they were more than happy help. We’re delighted to have supported such a great project and wish Aoife the best of luck in Zambia.”
Aoife Hurley said:
“To receive such support and sponsorship from Irwin Mitchell and backing from the wider Wellington Place community has been truly inspiring, and I hope to keep everyone up to date with the work I’ll be doing out there. I can only imagine how pleased the hospital staff and new mothers will be at the sight of the haul of beautifully knitted and crocheted items I will be taking with me.”