HUNDREDS of woolly owls have helped care homes across the north of England raise funds for the UK’s largest arthritis charity.
Dozens of Hill Care Group homes were challenged to raise as much as possible for Versus Arthritis as part of their knitting challenge.
The care home group tasked residents and staff with producing little owls and selling them to visitors for £1 each – with the winning homes in the North West and North East getting £50 each for their residents’ funds, which helps towards outings and activities.
Lever Edge Care Home, in Bolton, raised the most out of the entire group, collecting £105 for the charity.
They were closely followed by Hazelgrove Court Care Home, in Saltburn by the Sea, who sold 71 owls, raising £71 for Versus Arthritis, which provides support, information, and guidance for those living with the condition.
Sarah Hewit, 77, a resident at Lever Edge Care Home, said: “I really enjoyed it. It took me back to when I used to knit a long time ago. I used to knit things like cardigans and woolly hats. Feeling the knitting needles in my hands brought back good memories.”
Fellow Lever Edge resident Doreen Aspinal, 81, said: “I’ve always enjoyed knitting and raising money for charity gives me the opportunity to do it again. I’m a little out of practice but the staff helped when needed.”
Ellen Else, 92, a resident at Hazelgrove Court Care Home, said: “It has been great knitting for Versus Arthritis. At my age, I’m delighted I can still help fundraise for a very worthy charity.”
Resident Joyce Wooffindin, 82, added: “I have loved being able to be part of the fundraising, as many people suffer with arthritis, myself being one of them.”
Lisa Martin, home manager at Lever Edge Care Home, said: “The team of residents and staff did an amazing job knitting all the little owls – which were very popular among the visitors.
“We’re so proud of the amount raised for Versus Arthritis and delighted to win the Hill Care competition.”
Sharon Lewis, activities coordinator at Hazelgrove Court Care Home, said: “Our Knitting Nannas are delighted we have won the competition.
“They love helping people and they said raising funds and winning the competition means all the hours of knitting have paid off.”
A spokesperson for Versus Arthritis said: “There are over ten million people living with arthritis. That’s one in six, with over half of those living in pain every single day.
“The impact is huge as the condition slowly intrudes on everyday life – affecting the ability to work, care for a family, to move free from pain and to live independently. Yet arthritis is often dismissed as an inevitable part of ageing or shrugged off as ‘just a bit of arthritis’.
“Funds raised from events such as the knitting challenge go towards helping those with arthritis through our research as well as helping people directly with our helpline and support groups.
“We won’t rest until everyone with arthritis has access to the treatments and support they need to live the life they choose with real hope of a cure in the future. Your donations make it happen.”