Oct 06th 2015

Hats off to schoolgirl who knits for neonatals

FOR AS LONG AS SHE CAN REMEMBER, local teenager Leonie Edmead had her eye on a career in fashion, and in pursuit of her dream knit her way through a mountain of mini hats to keep the heads of tiny neonatal babies warm.

But, the bubbly teenager (15) admits that her woolly work may be drawing her to the field of nursing as she lovingly knits her creations. She explained: “It was always my dream to work in the world of fashion, but since knitting the hats for these premature babies I have discovered an interest in nursing, and am increasingly considering a change of career path.

“I was originally knitting for my toys, and after finishing one of my first hats my mom suggested that I should give my hats to premature babies.

“I have really enjoyed doing it and I think it is really cute that something I have made is being used in such a lovely way.

“My favourite lesson at school is textiles and I would like to think that I am creative. I haven’t seriously thought about career options yet as I am only 15, but I might think about nursing in a few years.”

The first set of hats that Leonie knitted were handed to Savannah, the daughter of Community Midwife Janet Hanson, as a donation and were greatly appreciated by the whole team.

“Leonie really moved me when she gave my daughter Savannah a gift bag full of baby hats that she had knit for our tiniest patients.

“I know she loves knitting but to give up her time for such a good cause, without being asked is amazing, and doubly so as I was aware she was in the middle of sitting a GCSE exam at the time, which she also did extremely well in,” said Janet.

“When I delivered the hats to the delivery suite, Midwife Sidonie Williams immediately took one of them into theatre for a baby who had just been delivered by caesarean section.

“The delivery suite staff were so grateful. Leonie is such an inspiration to us all.”

Leonie has no plans to stop knitting yet and has been blown away by the amount of support and kind words she has received from staff at the hospital.

“I didn’t expect the reaction I got for the hats because I knitted them without knowing how much of an impact they can make. It is a very rewarding pastime, and I like to think that in future years, when the babies have grown up, some of them may come across their first hat – which I made for them.”

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