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Blankets of Hope (Waterford)

by Mary Kelly and Deise Women’s Shed

For this project, Blankets of Hope came together with Deise Women’s Shed, to bring together and offer a safe environment for women, reaching out to women of all abilities, including those whom have little to no support, those in isolation, experiencing grief and those who want to learn new skills to enhance their independence and social lives.

The Blankets of Hope project has been knitting and crocheting blankets for women, men and children going through chemotherapy and experiencing other life-threatening illnesses including cancer, dementia, Parkinson’s etc since 2018. The blankets and other items such as shawls and phone bags are gifted to the sick person giving them comfort and hope at a very vulnerable time in their lives. Project members also knit toys, bags and hats for children going through chemotherapy. This brings joy to the child in a time of confusion around their illness.

The blankets are distributed to Waterford University Hospital, Dungarvan Community Hospital and within the local community. Pre Covid lockdown, the committee members engaged with two local schools teaching the children to knit and crochet, including boys and girls. They hope to now restart this programme. The project has also collaborated with the nuns in the local convent in Dungarvan, who are delighted to support and contribute their skills to the Blankets of Hope project. In the future they hope that blankets can be recycled into a memory cushion for the families of the patients left behind, aiding in the heal process.  

The project also richly benefits the members in terms of community engagement and a sense of satisfaction and wellbeing, knowing they are giving back with compassion to their local community.  

Déise Women’s Shed Waterford delivering Blankets of Hope to the Oncology and Palliative Care Units in University Hospital Waterford.