Trust receives 5,000 poppies for special Centenary project


Tutors Ginette Ward and Debra Smith with the donated poppies

BLACKPOOL Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has hit a milestone for a special commemorative project.

#TheGreatBTHKnit, launched last year, aims to receive handmade poppies for a unique art installation to mark the World War 1 Centenary.

Knitters and crocheters from around the region have been making the poppies, not only for the art display which will be housed at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, but to also raise money for the Royal British Legion.

Knitting tutor, Ginette Ward, said: “We have been hosting monthly Knit and Natter groups at both Blackpool Victoria and Clifton Hospitals and so many people have got on board.

“It’s fantastic that we have reached the 5,000 mark and our next target is 10,000. Anyone is welcome to come and join us; we can teach you how to knit and crochet, but also welcome anyone to come for a chat and some friendly company – we have all made lots of new friends.”

The Trust aims to receive 30,000 poppies with the art installation available to view from late October. There will also be commemorative events and displays at both hospitals.

The Trust’s Associate Director of Facilities, Nigel Fort, said: “We decided to mark the World War One Centenary as so many of our family members fought or were killed or injured in conflict.

“The art installation will be an amazing tribute and will incorporate the poppies that our volunteers have so kindly made. The support from them has been fantastic and I hope it continues.”

To mark reaching the 5,000 mark, the group at Blackpool Victoria Hospital were treated to special cakes for their contribution.

The Unison Knit and Natter group members with their cakes

The Great BTH Knit and Natter groups are planned and run by UNISON and sessions are held every second Monday at Blackpool Victoria and every fourth Monday at Clifton Hospital between 11.30am and 2pm. Anyone who is interested is welcome to just turn up, join in and make new friends.

You can sponsor a poppy in memory of a loved one in aid of the Royal British Legion by visiting the Trust’s Just Giving page:

Messages will also be featured in a lasting display at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

There are also special Royal British Legion poppy making kits available at the main reception and volunteer shop at Blackpool Victoria Hospital and will shortly be available at Clifton Hospital in Lytham St Annes and Whitegate Drive Medical Centre, Blackpool.

Group members Sheila Christopher and Yvonne Anderson

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