Pontefract woman knits 230 octopuses for premature babies

A Pontefract woman has donated more than 200 knitted animals to hospitals in Wakefield to help babies in intensive care.

Monday, 23rd December 2019, 4:07 pm
Updated Monday, 23rd December 2019, 4:08 pm
Doreen Cowdell, from Kinsley, knitted 230 of the toy octopuses, which are specially designed to comfort infants who are in intensive care.

Doreen Cowdell, from Kinsley, knitted 230 of the toy octopuses, which are specially designed to comfort infants who are in intensive care.

She decided to make the octopuses after she heard someone at Pontefract Hospital talking about the knitted toys and asked her granddaughter to look into it for her.

Doreen said: “It’s nice for any child to have something to cuddle up to, I have wool everywhere and I will continue to do it as much as I can.

“It keeps me busy and it keeps my mind going, I’d like to see more people doing this for the children.”

She learned that the crochet octopus toys act as a calming aid - the tentacles replicate the umbilical cord, which babies often hold onto in the womb.

With the tentacles to hold, newborns are less likely to pull out tubes and essential monitoring equipment cables that are attached to their bodies, Doreen said.

Doreen donated 60 of her knitted octopuses to Pontefract Hospital and the rest shared amongst Pinderfields, Dewsbury and the Prince of Wales Hospice.