Knitted Hearts and Baby Blankets

Knitted Hearts and Baby Blankets

Residents helping the community during lock down and giving back by Knitting heart and Baby blankets.

Benefit of crafts

Craft activities are particularly beneficial to older people and are recommended by NICE to promote independence and wellbeing in older people. Older adults who attend craft groups are less likely to have doctor-related visits and require less medication, resulting in cost-savings and reduced demand on health services. Craft groups help individuals build strong friendships, reducing social isolation and loneliness. Knitting has been shown to have benefits on multiple aspects of health including reducing depression and anxiety, slowing the onset of dementia, lowering blood pressure, reducing isolation and loneliness and increasing sense of inclusion in society.


Home Knitting

Project team

Smithies Bereavement group

North Manchester General Hospital Intensive Care Unit


The Age Friendly team discovered a project whereby people used their time in lockdown to make small knitted hearts for people in the community i.e., nursing homes, isolated residents and hospitals. After making Wendy the leader of Smithies bereavement group aware of this, she asked some of the ladies if they would like to be involved with this and they were happy to help. The pattern that had been sent by age friendly was on a website, to make it easier and more accessible I turn this into a more user-friendly word document and delivered it to the group to follow at home. Wendy kept in touch with North Manchester ICU, who accepted the hearts and distributed them to patients and family on the ward at a difficult time.

After this Wendy and myself both saw a call out on Facebook for Baby blankets and cardigans for premature babies on the NICU ward. The group decided they would like to help, they were using their own money to buy the wool. I used some of the Neighbourhood budget to purchase more baby wool to help this develop further.


The project is still on going and Wendy says the ladies are really enjoying making the blankets and cardigans. I am now talking to other groups to see if any other residents would like to be involved with this also. Especially since groups are not open still in the neighbourhood and people are looking for activities to do at home.

Strategic links to local/national policies



Increased mental wellbeing

Manchester Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Greater Manchester Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Reduce social isolation

Manchester Population Health Plan

NHS Five Year Forward View (Department of Health, 2014)

Reducing demand on services

Taking Charge of our Health and Social Care in Greater Manchester (GMCA, 2015)

Helping people age well

Taking Charge of our Health and Social Care in Greater Manchester (GMCA, 2015)

Manchester Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Manchester Population Health Plan

Research/evidence base

All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing Inquiry Report (2017) - Creative Health: The Arts for Health and Wellbeing

Burt, E. L. and Atkinson, J. (2012) The relationship between quilting and wellbeing, Journal of Public Health, Volume 34, Issue 1, Pages 54–59.

Cohen, G. (2009) New theories and research findings on the positive influence of music and art on health with ageing. Arts & Health, 1:1, 48-62.

Knit For Peace – The Health Benefits of Knitting

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). (2015). Older People: Independence and Mental Wellbeing. London: NICE.


Lauren Evans - buzz Neighbourhood Health Worker

T: 0161 271 0565

If you found this page helpful, maybe someone else will too?

"From each contact we have had with buzz we have been able to see their passion and expertise in promoting the health of children in Manchester."

Jennifer, Specialist Nurse, Looked After Children Team

Jennifer, Specialist Nurse, Looked After Children Team photo