AN army of Johnstone knitters has been on a mission to create a mountain of cosy hats and blankets for premature babies.

The nimble-fingered enthusiasts grabbed their needles and went to it in response to a call by Corseford Tenants and Residents Association (TARA) to show support for new mums at Paisley’s Royal Alexandra Hospital.

Organised by TARA treasurer Irene Struthers and her daughter Jane, the project was also designed to give Corseford residents a worthwhile cause during lockdown.

Irene told The Gazette: “The initiative was promoted on the association’s Facebook page as ‘Knit for the NHS’ – and TARA provided the wool, needles and patterns.

“Most of the 30 women who took part were from the Corseford area but we had others from Elderslie, Johnstone Castle and Houston.

“Others heard about it though word of mouth.

“We even had participants from as far away as Elgin donating.

“People who hadn’t knitted in years volunteered to give it a go. It meant they had something to do during lockdown, which was great for the mental wellbeing of the community.

“The oldest person to donate was a woman of 93 years.”

To date, TARA has received 250 hats and 41 blankets which can now be delivered to the hospital’s maternity unit following the easing of coronavirus restrictions.

Angela Duffy, lead midwife at the RAH, said: “I would like to say well done and thanks to the Corseford Tenants’ and Residents’ Association for coming up with such a fantastic idea.

“It’s really heart-warming to hear of people of all ages and from across the country taking part in this.

“Not only has this been of great value to the NHS but it has also helped to keep people motivated and positive during lockdown.”

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