DEMENTIA patients at Southmead Hospital will be benefitting from colourful comforters after staff, patients and volunteers got knitting.

A pile of Twiddlemuffs, knitted muffs featuring buttons, different textures, accessories and even small toys to provide stimulation, were handed to the hospital’s dementia team.

Dementia matron, Jet O’Neill, had seen the Twiddlemuffs being used elsewhere and thought they could provide meaningful activity for patients at North Bristol NHS Trust, who run the hospital.

Following on from the success of the Fresh Arts knitting programme which saw Ali Brown knitting with patients on wards at Southmead Hospital, as well as staff, Jet felt there would be an interest in people getting involved with making the Twiddlemuffs.

The Trust’s Learning and Development team had a particularly busy knitting group started off by some of the staff who were involved in knitting the Giant Jumper which hung outside the the hospital during October’s Fresh Arts Festival.

Kim Clements, an administrator in the team, said: “This has been a really good way of bringing everyone together.

“And it’s really nice that these Twiddlemuffs are going to go to people who will be able to keep them.”

The hospital’s knitting programme held after-work staff drop-in knitting sessions providing wool for the Twiddle Muffs.

Fresh Arts manager, Ruth Sidgwick, said: “I think the Twiddlemuffs have given these knitters a real purpose as they will have an ongoing benefit for people with dementia.

“This is a small way of helping the trust to care for patients with dementia in a really positive way.”

Jet said she was pleased to receive the Twiddlemuffs and that the team will monitor and evaluate the impact they have on patients.

“Knitting the Twiddlemuffs has really taken off and I think it will be something that is sustainable,” she said. “Now we will be engaging with staff on wards so that they can use them as a meaningful activity with patients.”

The Twiddlemuffs were handed over by knitters during the regular Memory Café at Southmead Hospital which is run in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society and provides a drop-in service to provide carers and patients with information and support.