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Knitted walking frame bags bring joy to care home residents

Hand crafted walking frame bags have given care home residents more freedom to get about carrying their “essentials”.

A knitting group from Thornaby Methodist Church, near Middlesbrough, created the bags for residents at Mandale House Care Home.

One of those residents, Mavis Thomas, has been a member of the church and friends with the knitting group organiser, Shirley Whitfield, for over 50 years.

Shirley established Chat and Craft to help members work through their grief after their husbands passed away.

They began knitting items to raise funds for the church and later diversified into baby clothes and blankets, for Blue Light Babies charity.

The group then started knitting items for care homes in the area, including the walking frame bags for those living at Mandale House Care Home, on Acklam Road, Thornaby.

Shirley said: “The group loves helping others and making a difference to the community.  

“The ladies who go to the group enjoy the company and that they’re creating something useful to help others.  

Knitted walking frame bags bring joy to care home residents

“They’re delighted the Mandale residents love the bags and use them all the time.”

The knitting group has also donated baby dolls and knitted clothes to the home, as residents with dementia find dressing and holding them comforting, according to home manager Louise Hawksby.

She said: “The knitting bags that residents are able to fasten to their walking frames have been really popular. They are absolutely delighting the residents.

“They are having a hoot collecting and carrying around their essentials. Some of the things they’re carrying are packets of biscuits, tissues, fruit, twiddle muffs and toys.

“The knitting group also supplied two fully clothed dolls for the dementia suite. They came with knitted trousers, beanies, cardigans and a blanket made from lace trimmed terry towelling nappies.

“They have been a hit with our residents, as they bring back memories of when they used to look after their own children. The simple act of dressing and holding the dolls can provide a lot of comfort and joy.”

Residents Florence Jinks and Margaret Morris have both been making use of their new walking frame bags.

Florence said: “It’s really handy. I like to keep my biscuits and tissues in my bag.”

Margaret added: “I have been filling mine with fruit from the fruit bowl.”

Mandale House Care Home is part of the Hill Care Group. For further information visit

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