Wigan gran’s special baby delivery

A Wigan grandma is almost single-handedly ensuring that newly-arrived babies in the borough are tucked up snugly.
Joyce flanked by two appreciative nursesJoyce flanked by two appreciative nurses
Joyce flanked by two appreciative nurses

For during lockdown Joyce Gee reckons she has crafted around 100 blankets, many of which she has donated to the infirmary’s neonatal unit.

And the Hindley 79-year-old claims that she isn’t even much of a knitter!

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But she had long ago picked up her skills from her mum - whom she says was the real dab hand at the craft - and found it a good way to while away the hours while enduring the rigours of lockdown.

Knitting also helps to ease the pain of arthritis that she has in her fingers.

Joyce, who used to work in a cotton mill and later for Barr’s soft drinks where husband Thomas also used to work, said: “I like to think it’s beneficial all round.

“It was my mum who was the big knitter but I have carried on with the patterns left by her and production really stepped up during the pandemic.

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“It’s good for my fingers and I can be doing a bit while I’m watching TV or when I’ve been working and need to sit down and have a rest. I had produced quite a lot and then a friend of my granddaughter took some of the baby blankets up to the neonatal unit at Wigan Infirmary in February and they were really appreciative.

“Others I have given away to friends and relatives.

“Then I had accumulated quite a few more in a black bin bag so I took them up to the hospital too. If there are too many they can always hand the remainder out on the maternity ward.”

Asked why she did the knitting, Joyce said: “Because I get pleasure out of it, both the creativity and because what I am making is useful and going to a good cause. It has also kept me going through the pandemic.

“It’s just a little hobby really.”

Simon Needham, Neonatal Ward Manager at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “On behalf of WWI, I would like to say a huge thank you to Joyce for her thoughtfulness and outstanding generosity. We really appreciate the blankets she has knitted and donated to the ward, they have made a real difference for the families.”

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