Pensioners knit hats for British troops

Scottish woman knits 10,000 hats for Afghanistan soldiers

Pensioners in Gosport are busy knitting hats for British forces stationed in Afghanistan and have so far made a staggering total of 150.

Ladies at the charitable military housing association Cessac House in The Redan, Anglesey in Gosport, had initially begun knitting as a social activity, but now they're daily meet-ups have turned into a much bigger venture.

Speaking to Portsmouth News, 75-year-old Martha McKenzie said: "It started off when the manager suggested trying to get people out of their flats because it can get very lonely.

"We're all of an age where we know how to knit and sew and I thought perhaps we could start a craft group and it's just escalated."

Meanwhile, 90-year-old Peggy Fromont joked that there was not much else to do at her age and said it only took an evening to make a hat.

"We're knitting to help people, we're knitting to help the soldiers - not that we agree to them being out there - but we've still got to keep them warm," she went on to say.

As well as knitting garments for the troops overseas the ladies have also knitted blankets and specialist clothing for premature babies at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham.

Ventilator hats, which have flaps to allow wires to come out of the top, as well as matinee coats and blankets have all been very popular with families of newborns, who take them away with them once they go home.

Some 45 matinee coats, 30 ventilator hats and 30 blankets are ready to be donated, with many more on the way.

The club is now seeking donations of wool so that it can carry on producing such a high volume of lovingly-made garments.

They are also holding a fundraiser in August to help boost support and raise awareness of their charitable work.

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