POORLY new-born babies at Sunderland Royal Hospital are getting kitted out for the best start in life.
A knitting club has been busy creating a whole new wardrobe for the latest arrivals at the hospital’s neo-natal ward.
Tiny shirts, vests, booties and cardigans are among the items handed over by the Mind charity knitting group.
Blankets and trauma teddies were also given to the ward which provides intensive care for premature or ill newborn babies, by the Mind knit and knatter group.
Sandra Hollywood, 61, is a member of the group.
She said: “We’ve been knitting everything for about six months.
“It’s for a cause I really believe in and it’s nice for the parents to have hand-knitted things to take home from when the baby was born.”
Mind, based in Norfolk Street in Sunderland, provides drop-in services and free counselling for anyone with mental health concerns. It also hosts a variety of groups including an art group, a scrap book club and the knit and knatter group.
Nursery nurse, Sue Harvey, from the hospital, was on hand to happily accept the bags of lovingly knitted clothes and blankets.
Sue, 51, from Hetton, said: “It’s kind of them to knit all of this. The clothes will go straight to the babies on the ward. We sometimes keep some things back for Christmas though.
Jan Hadlington, 52, was part of the knit and knatter group who came to present the ward staff with the knitted clothes.
Jan said: “I came out of hospital five months ago and I’ve been attending Mind nearly every day since.
“It’s made a huge difference. I never used to be able to leave the house and now my husband says he has to book an appointment if he wants to see me because I’ve got such a busy social life.”
The Special Care Baby Unit at Sunderland Royal Hospital has helped save the lives of thousands of premature babies.
A premature birth refers to a new-born arriving earlier than 37 weeks. The cause for pre-term birth is often unknown, but specialist care is sometimes needed to ensure new-borns get the support they need in their first few weeks.
Premature infants are at greater risk of complications, including disabilities and impediments in growth.