Natterers knit trauma teddies for ambulances

Ambulance sponsored bed push

A group of Burry Port women have proved they have the K factor after taking on the challenge of knitting trauma teddies for the Welsh Ambulance Service.

Caroline Saunders helped set up an afternoon Knit and Natter group at St Mary’s Church for women who, for personal reasons, can’t get to events or join societies that meet in the evening.

The St. Mary’s with Pwll Knit and Natter group has around 12 regular members whose needles have been clicking furiously as as they knitted 62 trauma teddies in just eight weeks to help put young patients who have to travel by ambulance at ease.

The idea to knit trauma teddies came about after Caroline’s own six-year-old daughter, Rachel, was taken to hospital by ambulance suffering from a very high temperature.

Caroline said: “Rachel had tonsillitis and developed a really high fever. We rang NHS direct and they advised getting an ambulance straight away. “Rachel was really frightened, terrified in fact, but the ambulance technician handed her a trauma teddy that they carried on the ambulance and that really helped calm her.

“The vicar’s young son, Gwilym Davies, also had to go in an ambulance recently and he too was helped by being able to cuddle a trauma teddy.

“So, everyone at the Knit and Natter group decided we could make a difference by knitting a few more teddies so every ambulance could carry one on board.

“So far we have managed to knit more than 50 trauma teddies and there are more on the way. We are also currently knitting bonnets and shawls for the neo natal clinics of several hospitals.”

Richard Ashby, Clinical Team Leader at Llanelli Ambulance Station, says he is delighted with the gift of trauma teddies from the Burry Port Knit and Natter women.

He said: “It is useful to carry soft toys in ambulances as they can be used to help calm distressed children and make the experience a less frightening one.

“They can also be used as a diagnostic tool, if a child is reluctant to talk about their injuries or pain you can ask them to show you on teddy.

“And teddy can also be used to demonstrate any equipment to be used. If you can help distract a child this can help lessen their symptoms or pain.”

The vicar of St Mary’s Church, Rev Paul Davies, says the Knit and Natter group is helping in more ways than one.

He said: “Many members of the group are quite elderly. However, they are doing something small that it making a big difference to young people.

“We are really proud of what they have achieved. Well done to Caroline and all the ladies.”

Caroline Saunders added: “Although the Knit and Natter group is attached to St Mary’s Church it is open to any ladies that wish to join. Most groups and societies meet in the evening and that isn’t always convenient for women with families or older women who simply don’t like going out in the evening.

“We meet between 1pm and 3pm on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month in the Parker Cabin at St Mary’s and I would encourage anyone who wants to come along to do so. We will even teach you to knit!

“On behalf of the group I would also like to appeal to anyone who can donate any quantity of wool to the group to get in touch. We are always in need of good quality wool.”

Anyone wanting further information about Burry Port Knit and Natter Group or who would like to donate any wool can contact Caroline Saunders on 01554 349718.

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