Kind-hearted crafter cheers up elderly care wards with comforting donation

A KIND-HEARTED crafter has brought cheer to Bradford Royal Infirmary’s elderly care wards with a comforting donation.

Crochet lover Jo Aspinall has found a way to keep busy during lockdown and has been putting her nimble fingers to good use, making eye-catching, multi-coloured blankets.

Three of her lovely creations have now been donated to the hospital for the use of patients on elderly care wards.

Jo, a day nursery manager, who lives in Thackley, said: “I’ve always loved crochet and taught myself as a teenager. During lockdown I wanted something to do so crocheting blankets was the answer. It kept me really busy and the blankets kept piling up so then I started thinking about what to do with them.

“I saw an article in a magazine where a London hospital was appealing for blankets for their neonatal unit and that gave me an idea.”

Jo then approached her friend Florence Chrishimba, who is the Trust’s Medical HR Advisor, who in turn got in touch with the hospital’s own Bradford Hospitals’ Charity.

Crafter Jo Aspinall crocheting the blankets for our elderly care unit
Crafter Jo Aspinall crocheting the blankets for our elderly care unit

“I was really pleased to be able to donate them to BRI. I originally intended them for the hospital’s neonatal unit but the patterns turned out to be unsuitable for tiny fingers. However, when I was told that they would be perfect for elderly care patients, I was so happy. I really hope the patients will enjoy them.”

Lead Nurse for Dementia, Roshanne Fox said: “I am thrilled to get these blankets from Jo; they are always very well received by the staff and patients. They provide such comfort to people and this is lovely to see, especially in these difficult times.

“These blankets will be given to three patients in our care, who can then take them home and use them afterwards.

“If you are a handy knitter or able to crochet, we are always in need of and grateful for woolly hats, twiddle muffs, knee blankets and so on as our supply is always being used.”

Charity Fund-raising Assistant, Elaine Drake said: “Here at Bradford Hospitals’ Charity we are always thrilled when people like Jo choose to support us in this way.

“The blankets were beautifully crocheted with wonderful bright colours and patterns and they have been very well received. Thank you for your kind consideration Jo, this is a great way to support our charity.

“If you or someone you know enjoys knitting and crocheting please do not hesitate to contact us by email:  or ring 01274 274809.”


Photos: Elaine Drake, Bradford Hospitals’ Charity and Lead Nurse, Dementia, Roshanne Fox with blankets

Jo Aspinall with her crochet


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Note to Editors:


  1. Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust:

Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is responsible for providing hospital services for the people of Bradford and communities across Yorkshire. We serve a core population of around 500,000 and provide specialist services for 1.1 million people.

Our 5,500 staff work over several sites, including Bradford Royal Infirmary, which provides the majority of inpatient services, and St Luke’s Hospital, which predominantly provides outpatient and rehabilitation services. We also manage local community hospitals at Westwood Park, Westbourne Green, and Eccleshill.

In early 2017, a new £28 million wing opened at Bradford Royal Infirmary, part of a £75m investment to improve patient care across our hospitals over a five-year period. It provides world-class facilities for elderly care, children’s services, a state-of-the-art intensive care unit with increased single-room provision and a retail concourse.

The new wing is a continuation of our work to improve patient experience after our new £2 million neonatal unit officially opened in January 2015. Our maternity services were recently shortlisted for the Royal College of Midwives’ (RCM) Midwifery Service of the Year Award, recognising excellence and innovation in the provision of maternity care.

In 2017, we also completed a £2m refurbishment of our Emergency Department (ED) as part of an ambitious vision to create a more efficient acute medicine service for the people of Bradford. It has been designed to provide a slicker and more efficient service, with faster senior clinical involvement at an early stage in the patient pathway.

As a teaching hospital, we are at the forefront of education and development in healthcare, and have an excellent reputation for research performance. We are one of the leading centres in conducting applied research in the country, particularly in quality and safety, elderly care and rehabilitation.

The Trust is home to the Bradford Institute for Health Research (BIHR) where researchers have led the development, validation and implementation of the award-winning Bradford Electronic Frailty Index (eFI) which helps calculate an elderly person’s risk of disability, impairment, falls and complications of chronic diseases, as well as their diminishing independence and capability. This is now being used by 98% of all GPs across the country.

Our award-winning Ophthalmology department is home to numerous worldwide clinical trials taking the lead in eye care research and we are one of only three sites in the United Kingdom to be enlisted in the Perioperative Enhanced Recovery Hip Fracture Care of Patients with Dementia (PERFECTED) study, which will investigate how the NHS can introduce better standards of care to improve outcomes for people with dementia.

The Trust has its own Bradford Hospitals Charity:

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