WI members create quilts for dementia patients

9 Jan 2019

Members of Long Clawson Women’s Institute have delivered 14 twiddle quilts for dementia patients at Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust (LPT).


Each one is an individual creation, with brightly coloured fabric, buttons and a variety of textures. Their aim is to sooth and stimulate dementia patients by giving them something to do with their hands.
The Woman’s Institute nationally has been promoting activities around dementia and mental health.


Christine Smith, Long Clawson WI vice-president, said: “Making quilts for people with dementia fits very well with the WI’s ethos. It’s doing something for other people in a creative way.


“It has been great fun. We started with small squares with beads, buttons, zips and bows, and anything else we could find that would be good to ‘twiddle’ with. We aimed to make 100 squares to celebrate the centenary of the Leicestershire and Rutland Federation of Women’s Institutes this year and in the end have made more than 150. We have joined the squares together into larger patchwork squares, and backed them with fleece, to make the twiddle quilts.
“We are very appreciative of the Long Clawson Sewing Bee’s support in helping us achieve this.”


Long Clawson WI began the project in August at their summer afternoon tea, and finished in early November. Earlier in the year members supported the WI’s national resolution the Mental Health Matters with a stimulating discussion about mental health, with many members sharing their own or their relatives’ experiences.
Carole Brown, Long Clawson WI treasurer, said: “The more people that are aware of dementia and mental health issues, then the better the understanding and provision will be across the community.”
Simon Guild, community services manager from LPT, said: “Twiddle mitts and twiddle quilts have proven to be beneficial in enhancing the wellbeing of people with dementia. They provide a means of safe and meaningful engagement in activity which can reduce symptoms of dementia and enhance wellbeing.


“We would like to thank Long Clawson WI for their kind donation and will ensure they are distributed to our patients to support their wellbeing.”


Lindsay Woodward, fundraising manager for LPT’s charity Raising Health, said: “I can’t thank the ladies of Long Clawson WI enough for creating the twiddle quilts for us - each one is as unique as our patients’ experience of dementia is to them. It makes a big difference to have the support of groups in our local community.
“If anyone reading this is part of a local group who are considering making dementia-friendly items or fundraising in support of dementia care for local people I would love for them to get in touch.


The Long Clawson Sewing Bee are producing further quilts for children with ADHD, which they expect to hand over in the new year.
To contact Long Clawson WI, go to www.lcwi.btck.co.uk/ContactUs