Sidmouth Brownies knit ‘twiddle muffs’ for dementia patients

Admiral Nurse Heidi Crook (right) with members of the 1st Sidmouth Brownies and Sidmouth Women’s Ins

Admiral Nurse Heidi Crook (right) with members of the 1st Sidmouth Brownies and Sidmouth Women’s Institute - Credit: Archant

Dementia sufferers’ hands are being kept busy by knitted creations adorned by the 1st Sidmouth Brownies in a true community collaboration.

The youngsters were supported by members of Sidmouth Women’s Institute to craft the ‘twiddle muffs’ – hand muffs with interesting bits and bobs for users to play with.

They have been presented to Malden House Care Home, some family members of the girls who are in the early stages of dementia, and Heidi Crook, the Sid Valley’s Admiral Nurse.

Brown Owl Sarah Mounoury said: “One of the leaders had heard about the twiddle muffs through a relation and suggested we look at making some – we are always keen to do community projects and get involved in life in the Sid Valley.

“The brownies have an active role in choosing what they would like to do at our meetings and they were all really up for getting involved.

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“Realising that the standard of knitting amongst a group of seven to 10-year-olds was not that high, we contacted Sidmouth WI, who agreed to knit some rectangles over the summer.

“Over the last couple of weeks, the girls have been learning to sew, knit and attach craft bits on to the rectangles and then make them into the muffs. Other care homes are also interested in receiving some and the brownies have been delighted to see how they are being used to such good effect.”

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Heidi said: “It is excellent to see such inter-generational projects going on within the community.

“The twiddle muffs are a wonderful resource for people with dementia.

“For some people, as dementia advances they experience symptoms of restlessness caused by underlying anxiety that can mean they need to keep their hands busy.

“The twiddle muffs are brightly-coloured knitted pouches with various bits and bobs - buttons, strings and knitted shapes - that provide a level of sensory and tactile stimulation to give the person with busy hands an outlet to try to help reduce their level of anxiety.

“The brownies have done a marvellous job of attaching various items, some of which they knitted themselves, and they should be very proud to know that their work will have a positive impact for some of the people with dementia living locally.”

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