The wait is over!
So ... how did we get here?
Back in March 2020, we all became cocooned in our homes due to a deadly virus raging across the world.
Living with dementia brings many challenges and being disconnected from our friends living with dementia who really understand makes it so much harder, alongside not seeing our loved ones either.
Together Dementia Support and our Fabulous Forgetful Friends were already keen knitters, and when we heard about the ‘Squares Project’ led by DEEP we could only be stuck in with gusto!
During this initial phase, volunteers and staff became Knitting Connectors, delivering wool, needles to people’s homes and having phone conversations to form friendships and keep people connected through this shared joy of creation. One of our members, Helen, even knitted lovely teddies to send to her fellow knitters, and even responded to a plea from the Littlest Wildlife Hotel in Cornwall for knitted beds for baby birds and hedgehogs.
As restrictions eased slightly in Greater Manchester, we decided to get together and do a ‘Sewing it all Together Project’. For 6 weeks we met outdoors over tea and cake, happily sewing our squares together and reconnecting – until the second wave arrived and we had not finished!
At our weekly facilitators zoom with DEEP, we chatted about the unfinished blanket and Rachel asked our help to drive it forward across the UK. The response came from far and wide, with DEEP members as far as Scotland, Wales, and all over England all pitching in! Lots of emails, needles, and wool went out, and beautiful cards, letters, videos and squares came back with so much love and support! This was clearly a project that united people and brought them together.
Finally, as restrictions started to ease and with a glimmer of Hope (and she is a good knitter!), we finished. Phew! Over cream teas, DEEP members across the country united in one big blanks at our Big Reveal event on the 8 July 2021.
Now, what to do with it?
The blanket as one piece was quite a site to behold, but we are now unpicking it and making small, useful lap blankets made with love. Our Fabulous Forgetful Friends members felt that ours will go to our former members who have gone into care, as a symbol that we still care and miss them at our groups.
If you would like a lap blanket from the Big DEEP Blanket, please get in touch with us, let us know what you intend to do with it, and we’ll let you know if we’ve got any we can send. Please email Jo@togetherdementiasupport.org
Thank you to all who took part, and to Joy for taking the photographs.
Now to rest our fingers!