Moyles Court pupils get ‘twiddling’ to help Dementia and Alzheimer patients


Moyles Court School students from Year 7 have been involved in a project to help Dementia and Alzheimer patients at Poole Hospital during their Textiles’ lessons this term. They have embellished knitted ‘twiddlemitts’ with decorative and tactile features that help calm the patients and make them feel more content and relaxed.

The ‘twiddlemitts’, (also known as ‘memory knitts’ and ‘twiddle muffs’) were knitted by local volunteers and donated to the hospital – but without the necessary ‘twiddly’ bits attached!

Moyles Court Textiles’ teacher, Mrs Sharp, first saw ‘twiddlemitts’ at the Parma charity shop in Ringwood and was initially attracted by their colours and textures and then learned of their use and benefits for dementia patients. From further research, she found the Poole hospital on-line appeal for people to help provide ‘twiddlemitts’ (https://www.poole.nhs.uk/about-us/latest-news/2015-news/knit-a-mitt-for-patients.aspx ) and contacted the senior dementia nurse, Kate Jones, who was delighted to provide the plain knitted mitts for the children to decorate.

The children used a variety of haberdashery and recycled items, such as buttons, ribbons, zips, fur fabric and cotton-reels,  and sewed them on to the outside and, most importantly, the inside of the twiddlemitts. They all worked enthusiastically and tried their best to ensure that the components were securely attached and safe for the patients and that the finished mitt was aesthetically pleasing. They were able to engage in a worthwhile project to help people in the wider community and develop an awareness of dementia, whilst learning some new sewing skills and put recycled items to good use.

Altogether, they have decorated over twenty mitts and one ‘twiddle blanket’, (a small lap-sized quilt decorated with twiddly bits) to donate to the hospital.  Kate Jones explained that each patient has to have their own mitt, for hygiene reasons, and therefore, the twiddelmitts and blankets are always needed by the hospital. If anyone would like to contribute to this appeal, and has wool remnants to use up, the instructions on how to make them are on the hospital link here. Mrs Sharp at Moyles Court School is very happy to receive plain knitted mitts for the children to decorate and pass on to Poole Hospital in the future. Decorated mitts can also be taken direct to Poole hospital for immediate use.