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The Big Knit

Age Action | The Big Knit

As many as 2,000 older people in Ireland die needlessly because of complications due to the cold every winter. Many others spend the time lonely and isolated, unable to heat their homes and struggling to get out and about.

  • Back in 2008 Innocent Smoothies had an idea. They asked some older people, and some younger people, to knit little woolly hats. They put those hats on our smoothies, and for each one sold, 30c is given directly to Age Action.

The idea snowballed and so far the people of Ireland have knit an astonishing 325,000 hats, and together we’ve raised over €100,000, and raised awareness of the great work done by Age Action in Ireland.

  1. The money goes towards Age Action's Care and Repair programme, which involves volunteers visiting older people in their homes and providing a DIY service.  The programme runs all year round, but is ramped up over the winter with volunteers doing jobs such as fitting hand rails, changing light bulbs and fitting draught excluders.  It is a service which enables older people to remain living with dignity in their own homes.  The Innocent Big Knit also helps fund Age Action's information service which runs a public information campaign each winter, providing advice for older people on how to remain well and warm at home.

All of our hats are knitted by real people, just like you. We literally couldn't do it without the folks who give up their time (and wool) to help, and we’re enormously grateful. If you’d like to get involved and knit a hat please visit www.thebigknit.ie

How it works

Knitters from across the land send us their little knitted hats between now and December. Innocent put them onto the bottles by hand and send them off to store. For every hatted bottle sold, 30c is donated to Age Action.

Over the years knitting groups, schools &loads of lovely people all over Ireland have generously knitted for the Innocent Big Knit. We'd love people of all ages to get involved from novice knitters to champion clickers, so please spread the word within your local community. If you don't fancy knitting yourself, wool and needles can be donated to Age Action to help others reach their target.

Your hats will help fund Age Action's work with older people in Ireland. While many older people live healthy, happy, fulfilling lives, some older people need a little support to continue to live with dignity.

The Innocent Big Knit funding will help Age Action's winter warmth public information campaign to enable older people remain well and warm in their own homes. It will also go towards their home visitation and DIY teams which assist thousands of older people each year.

Click here for more information and knitting patterns

Age Action | The Big Knit hats

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A Fair Society for All? Listening to the Voices of Older People

Often, inequalities experienced by older people reflect an accumulated disadvantage which can be as a result of factors such as socio-economic status, health, gender, location. How existing inequalities impact on us as we age is something we in Age Action explored through a panel discussion 10 September – A Fair Society For All? Listening to the Voice of Older People – in Croke Park, on the occasion of the Annual General Meeting 2019.

An audience of over 160 people, including members of Age Action and people working in the ageing sector, joined the conversatoin which included a panel disucssion moderated by the CEO Paddy Connolly. The discussion centred on a discussion paper, Equality for All - Older People for Equality, published by Age Action in advance.The  panel set the scene with inputs from Michael Taft, Economist and political economy columnist, Colette Bennett, Policy Analyst Social Justice Ireland, Deirdre Garvey, CEO The Wheel, Ailbhe Smith, Co-Director of Together for Yes.