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Project inundated with donated knitted items to help premature babies in neonatal units

PUBLISHED: 08:22 08 May 2018 | UPDATED: 08:53 08 May 2018

Baby Frankie was the inspiration for the Warm Baby Project. Born prematurely he was given knitted items donated to West Suffolk Hospital. Picture: Warm Baby Project

Baby Frankie was the inspiration for the Warm Baby Project. Born prematurely he was given knitted items donated to West Suffolk Hospital. Picture: Warm Baby Project

Archant

It started out as a Facebook group set up to ask people for wool donations, so knitters could create items to be worn by premature babies.

Olivia Cundell, who started the Warm Baby Project. Picture: Olivia CundellOlivia Cundell, who started the Warm Baby Project. Picture: Olivia Cundell

But within a matter of weeks the Warm Baby Project has been inundated with items donated from across the country and from abroad.

Olivia Cundell, from Bury St Edmunds, was inspired to start the group following the premature birth of her friend’s grandson Frankie.

The 20-year-old said: “I have a friend whose grandson was born prematurely a couple of years ago and he was given little cardigans and hats.

“It made such a huge difference to her, people had taken the time to make these handmade knitted items. She said she wanted to give back.

Some of the donated knitted items. Picture: Warm Baby ProjectSome of the donated knitted items. Picture: Warm Baby Project

“So I started the page with the initial thought for people to donate wool.”

In addition to donations of wool, keen knitters have been sending hundreds of their own creations - including cardigans, hats and blankets.

The neonatal unit at the West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds has received some of the gifts. With the numbers increasing, Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, and Ipswich Hospital will also be given some.

The plan is to push it out to other hospitals.

Hats donated to the Warm Baby Project. Picture: Warm Baby ProjectHats donated to the Warm Baby Project. Picture: Warm Baby Project

“You would not believe how many parcels we have had,” said Miss Cundell, who runs her own t-shirt printing business. “It is constant. It has just gone huge.

“We have had them from all over the country. And we have had parcels from Holland. I set the Facebook page up a couple of weeks ago and it already has almost 300 likes.”

She added: “When they go to the hospital people are not always prepared with clothes which are small. It is nice to have that comfort of something hand knitted.

“When the babies come out of the incubators they need the cardigans to keep warm.”

People across the country have been knitting blankets, cardigans and hats for the Warm Baby Project. Picture: Warm Baby ProjectPeople across the country have been knitting blankets, cardigans and hats for the Warm Baby Project. Picture: Warm Baby Project

In addition to the donated items, people have also been sharing the stories of their premature babies and the comfort donated blankets and cardigans provided them.

Knitting patterns and information about how to help can be found at Warm Baby Project on Facebook.

A fundraising page to pay for wool has been set up.

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