Community Integrated Care, a health and social care charity, has donated hundreds of handcrafted knitted bonnets to various NHS Neonatal units within Cheshire and Merseyside. This has also been carried out in order to raise awareness of ‘World Prematurity Day’. 

Statistics show that around 1 in 13 babies are born premature. Typically, parents would have around nine months to prepare for a baby’s arrival. However, when dealing with a premature baby who is  born far earlier than expected, parents are usually underprepared on how to deal with this. 

The charity hopes the hand crafted bonnets will provide some support to families who are going through this challenging time. They also hope to make further donations to many other specialist hospitals within the UK. 

Earlier in the year, Community Integrated Care launched the project by challenging its colleagues, the people it supports and fans from the Rugby League community to create Rugby League World Cup 2021 themed baby bonnets. 

Jodie Cunningham, St. Helens R.F.C & England Rugby League star and Rugby League World Cup 2021 Women’s Ambassador, has been really passionate about the challenge and the fact that it has allowed people to showcase what they can do, all for a worthwhile cause.   

Not only has this project been done in aid of premature babies, but it has also bought together many young and old people to bond over their love for knitting, with some not previously realising they could knit as well as they do. 

The NHS Neonatal units work with the most vulnerable and poorly babies, and these donations seek to provide recognition to both the staff and units but will also reflect how widespread prematurity is, and how almost 60,000 families deal with premature births. 

Handcrafted Bonnets Made in Support of Premature Babies
Photo: Community Integrated Care

Alongside the knitted bonnets, those who have donated have also provided heart-warming and touching messages which has reinforced the wholesome nature of this cause. To ensure this project raises awareness of prematurity, many volunteers from the local community have been involved.  

Jodie Cunningham says, “The volunteers have been remarkable, making an impact in their local communities and on a national scale, through their involvement in the Rugby League World Cup 2021 Inclusive Volunteering Programme.

You can see from project such as this Baby Bonnets Knitting initiative just how much they enjoy having the opportunity to lead, find new interests and develop their skills and confidence.”

Catherine McClennan from NHS Cheshire and Merseyside Women’s Health and Maternity Services Programme has said how “these baby bonnets highlight the power of community spirit and what can be achieved when we all work together”.

The ‘Baby Bonnets Knitting Initiative’ is part of a wider charitable scheme that will enable people to get involved and fuel community spirit but also discover new skills and talent.  

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