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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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Input into the Nursing Home Expert Panel on perspectives and experiences in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic

(17 June) The Alliance of Age Sector NGOs, represented by Age Action, is meeting with the Nursing Home Expert Panel to communicate perspectives and experiences in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on nursing homes, with a particular focus on planning the further responses to nursing homes’ needs over the next 18 months.  National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET), chaired by the Government’s Chief Medical Officer, was established in January. It has been providing direction, guidance, support and expert advice on the development and implementation of Ireland’s strategic response to the pandemic. The Panel is due to report to the Minister for Health by end June 2020 and is has undertaken a public consultation details of which are available here.