My first daughter was born in Leighton Hospital and three years later my twin daughters were born at the same hospital. One of them was under 5lb in weight and in those days was automatically taken into the hospitals neonatal unit. It was there that I saw first hand what wonderful work was done in these units. My mother was an avid knitter and so was I since a small child. The ward at that time ( in the seventies) were always short of small knitted hats coats and bootees to keep the babies warm and so that was how we came to help.
As the years went on we continued to knit for the ward and over the years it grew and grew as more knitters joined in. After many years of knitting including having a stall selling machine knit adult items to help he MRI scanner appeal we formed ourselves in 1999 into The *Ray of Hope* and continued with our stall selling knitted clothes from birth to school age. We have a web site www.rayofhope.co.uk which has much more detail on and also many of our most popular patterns. I intend to use this blog with more of our everyday happenings.
We continue to knit and sew for both the neonatal and the maternity units. The knitting and blankets for the low birth weight babies is all given freely to the parents on the ward. The items then belong to them and they take them and launder them and when baby goes home all their items go with them. This prevents any worries of cross infection. We now supply small bob hats ( pattern is on our www.rayofhope.co.uk site under Bonnets ( Baby Hats HKP). This little hat ( 36 stitch size) fits most newborns and we use over 3,000 a year. The hospital have found that fewer babies are admited to the NICU with hypothermia when they have the little hat. Every baby has one on and it is theirs to take home and mums wash them over and over again and lots are kept to show baby as they grow.