Innovative Twiddlemuff project helps Dementia sufferers throughout the UK

By Nicole McBride

Ballymena based mother and daughter, have shared some purls of wisdom about their UK

wide ‘Knit for peace’ campaign throughout lockdown which they hope will help those living

with dementia.

Julie Greer and Ethel Craig discovered the ‘Twiddlemuff’ pattern on the ‘Knit for Peace’

website. Combining their talents, Ethel knits the main body of the hand-muffs, 24 inches of

knitting, and Julie constructs it into the finished product, attaching buttons, beads and


The end result is a beautifully crafted multi-sensory comforter that incorporates

aspects of touch therapy, proven to reduce anxiety and agitation in Dementia and hyper-

activity. It also provides something to fiddle with to alleviate restless hands.

After months of knitting and decorating, they have developed quite a following amongst

patients of mental health throughout Northern Ireland.  Julie was inspired by the charity

‘Knit for Peace’, which find innovative ways to raise funds for charities around the UK.

Some of the charities that distribute Twiddlemuff’s are the London Ambulance Service and

Age NI.  They are used throughout nursing homes, in ambulances and even in podiatry

surgeries for patients with mental health problems, whilst receiving treatment.

Julie Greer said the entire process was a team effort.

“Twiddlemuffs have helped my Mum because she knows that she is supporting other people,” She said.

“Keeping them as colourful as possible also helps people with sight problems. It’s a fantastic way to

connect with each other.”

Sam Cunningham, First Connect Coordinator with Age NI said Twiddlemuffs are a great hit

with clients.

“We really appreciate this very kind gesture as many hours went into making these and they

will be a great comfort for the clients that get them.”

If you would like more information about Twiddlemuffs contact Age NI on 02890245729.

The pattern is on ‘Knit for Peace’ website;