Volunteer, Sue Morris and a team of collaborators have been knitting octopuses for the neonatal unit at Ashford and St Peter's Hospitals to help premature babies. Sue said: "We are a group of people who crochet and knit little octopuses and jellyfish to comfort babies who decided to come into the world a little earlier than expected."
Once they are made they are checked by coordinators to make sure that they meet the very high quality standards needed for premature babies.
Jo Willard, Family Support Coordinator at St Peter's said: "We are fortunate enough to be receiving the little jelly fish and octopuses for all of our babies on the neonatal intensive care unit at St Peter's. The parent's reaction when receiving an octopus is wonderful to see. We explain to the parents how the octopus can help soothe their baby and that it gives them something else to grab on to instead of wires and tubes. To the premature baby, crocheted or knitted octopus tentacles feel like mother's umbilical cord. Both the parents and the staff at St Peter's appreciate how much hard work, time and love goes into making each octopus or jelly fish."
Octopus - and now Jellyfish as well - provide a calming influence and a real help for premature babies, and are seen as also providing comfort to parents. If you want to help this very worthwhile cause go to www.facebook.com/octopusforapreemie.
Pictured above from left to right - Jo Willard, Jennifer Alvey, Sarah Worster, Karen Bradey, Tasha Katsaros and Haley Gericke