Sheila's Campaign - Mitts For Men - Supporting people living with Dementia...


Ashfield Voluntary Action is to launch a new initiative to support people living with dementia.


One of our lovely volunteers at Ashfield Voluntary Action has been diligently knitting twiddle mitts to support people living with dementia. Twiddle mitts are simple, knitted bands that have items attached so that someone living with dementia can twiddle the band or mitt in their hands. Mitts are usually colourful, with lots of different textures and typically have ribbons, zips, buttons and keys attached. Each one is unique, and they can really help some people living with dementia. They can be particularly useful in easing the anxiety experienced by someone when their environment changes; perhaps through a hospital stay or move into a care home setting.


Sheila Formon has been knitting around three mitts a week for us for the last four months and these will be donated to health and care settings, including Ward 52 (the dementia ward) at Kings Mill Hospital.



Sheila began knitting twiddle mitts following the sad loss of her husband, Bernard. Sheila regularly attends our Fall Aware and Loving Life group, which meets on a Tuesday afternoon for a cuppa, a giggle, a chat and a bit of exercise! Having supported her mother and husband both of whom lived with Dementia, Sheila understands how twiddle mitts can make a real difference to the quality of someone’s life. In recognition of Sheila's passion and enthusiasm for this initiative (which is infectious) we have named it after her. 


Sheila has been doing an amazing job, and whilst it is our ultimate ambition to make enough twiddle mitts for everyone living with dementia in Mansfield and Ashfield. We realised that twiddle mitts tend to be in pastel and more feminine colours. We want to make some twiddle mitts which are more likely to appeal to men. Eventually we plan to have some mitts with gardening, cricket, rugby, motor sport and military themes, but for now, with the association between the community and its beloved football club, we want to ask local people to help us to create special Stags themed twiddle mitts for the discerning football fan living with dementia. Adele Bonsall, Dementia Nurse Specialist at Sherwood Forest Hospital Trust said, "Dementia does not sexually discriminate, so why do we with twiddle mitts! Ashfield Voluntary Action is leading the way in providing twiddle mitts designed to appeal to men."



We really need your help to push this campaign forward, so if you are a crafter or knitter; we need twiddle mitts, but also items to attach to the mitts, so themed crocheted or embroidered items.  


Ashfield Voluntary Action is part of the Ashfield and Mansfield Dementia Action Alliance which is working to raise awareness of dementia and make our community more dementia friendly. If you would to get involved with our campaign, to learn more about the Ashfield and Mansfield Dementia Action Alliance or attend one of our free Dementia Friends Awareness sessions, please contact Sarah Taylor on 01623 555 551.


Sarah Taylor

Health & Wellbeing Officer


Ashfield Voluntary Action

The Health & Wellbeing Centre

Portland Street



NG17 7FD




Telephone: 01623 555 551

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