Hats off to knitting group
HUNDREDS of hats have been knitted by a group of friends to boost the confidence of cancer patients.
The hats are being offered to patients who have lost their hair through chemotherapy.
The creations have been shared between the University Hospital of North Staffordshire and Manchester's Christie Hospital.
Rudyard and District Women's Institute came up with the Hats From Heaven idea after the husband of one of its members was struck down with leukaemia.
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Now the group, near Leek, wants more WIs across the country to follow suit and start knitting hats.
Member Jean Lloyd, aged 65, of Rudyard, whose 69-year-old husband, Ronald, is now in remission from leukaemia, said: "I have knitted coats for battery hens because they had no feathers, knitted for dogs, and even made teddies, and then I thought that nobody is making hats for cancer patients.
"With hospital parking costs and petrol, everything is an expense nowadays, so I thought it would be nice to give something for free.
"Everyone loved the idea and we have been promoting it ever since.
"We must have taken 250 hats up to the North Staffs and the same to Christies, where my husband had his treatment.
"The response has been fantastic and I can't thank all of the knitters out there enough, all together we have had more than 500 hats.
"Anybody who knits will have balls of wool in the house and can probably knit a hat in a day."
Some knitters have even bought cashmere to make the hats so patients with sensitive skin can wear them.
Fellow WI branch member Suzanne Sheldon, aged 50, of Longsdon, near Leek, said: "I thought the idea was wonderful.
"We have been inundated with offers, we now want to take it a little bit further.
"This is such a lovely cause so we are out there now touting for business.
"The hospitals cannot get over the fact that they're getting something for free and at how many generous people there are out there willing to help."