Leeds & West Yorkshire

Coronavirus: Lottery winner leads Twiddlemuff knitting drive

Susan Crossland surrounded by knitted items Image copyright The National Lottery
Image caption Susan Crossland wants to knit twiddlemuffs to help people with dementia receive comfort and stimulation

A lottery winner has mobilised a group of knitters to help dementia sufferers during the coronavirus lockdown.

Susan Crossland, 56, of West Yorkshire, started a campaign to knit twiddlemuffs - comfort aids with small items such as buttons, pom-poms attached.

They offer patients stimulation and keep their hands active.

Mrs Crossland said she took up knitting as a way to relax and help others after scooping £1.2m on the National Lottery in 2008.

"What could be more special than knitting for hospitals that are so desperate for things, especially now?" she said.

"I have tried to get a lot of people on board with it. I love knitting so why not put it to good use?

"Now we're all on lockdown, people are trying to find things to do and my thing is knitting."

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Susan Crossland commissioned a 6.5ft high, hand-painted kennel for her dog Archie to watch the Royal wedding in 2018

The grandmother, from Mirfield, said those with dementia needed the knits "even more now with coronavirus going on".

She has found more than a dozen fellow knitters - including other jackpot beneficiaries - but has appealed for more.

Group member Cheryl Brudenell, from Stockton-on-Tees, who won £1m in 1997, said: "It's so important to use whatever skills we have to help the community right now."

Age Concern said it would distribute the knitted items to patients after lockdown restrictions were lifted.

Mrs Crossland won the £1.2m prize on the anniversary of her father's death using his line of numbers and said the win was "heaven sent".

In 2018, she ordered a giant Windsor Castle-styled dog kennel for her pooch to watch The Duke and Duchess of Sussex's royal wedding.

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