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Hats off to the Neo-natal Unit

24 May 11


A team of knitters from the School of Health Studies, at the University of Bradford, and Dixons Allerton Academy have presented over 100 hats, 50 blankets and baby clothes to Sarah Szpara, Matron of the Neo-Natal Unit at Bradford Royal Infirmary.

The 27 cot Neo-Natal Unit at the hospital cares for over 500 babies each year, from 24 weeks gestation.

Julie Hodgson, Clinical Support Officer at the School of Health Studies was the first to start knitting hats and blankets with colleague Karen Hara. She said: "My daughter works as a staff nurse at the Unit, and she mentioned to me that more blankets and hats were needed for the babies. We asked our colleagues to donate spare wool, and this request also brought more knitters on board!"

When staff and students from Dixons Allerton Academy visited the School of Health Studies earlier this year as part of their A-Level Health and Social Care studies, they were also inspired by the knitting bug.

Angela Gordon, a teacher at Dixons Allerton Academy, said: "When Julie told me about knitting the hats and blankets for the Neo-Natal Unit, I was really keen to get involved.  Before long, some of my colleagues and students had also started knitting.

"As well as the hats and blankets, we've also knitted baby clothes, including cardigans, mittens and booties."

Sarah Szpara, Matron of the Unit, said, "We are very pleased with the donation of hats, blankets and baby clothes from both the School of Health Studies and Dixons Allerton Academy, which will certainly be extremely useful for us.  All of our babies need that bit of extra special care and these items will help keep them warm and cosy."

Shirley Congdon, Dean of the School of Health Studies said, "We are delighted to be able to support the Neo-Natal Unit at Bradford Royal Infirmary in this way, as it provides such excellent teaching and learning opportunities for our Child Nursing students. The project is also a fantastic example of the University’s sustainable development policy in action, re-using small amounts of wool that would otherwise have been thrown away. I would personally like to pass on my thanks to everyone involved."

Now smitten by the knitting bug, the team are continuing to knit and will pass on any further donations to Sarah and her staff at the Unit.

24 May 11

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