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HAT’S A WRAP: Irish knitters raise thousands for older people

Published 21/04/2016


innocent Ireland today donated €20,000 to Age Action as part of their annual Big Knit campaign. The money raised will go a long way to helping older people stay safe and warm this coming winter. 

Over the past seven years, the Irish public has knitted an astonishing 410,000 little hats for the innocent Big Knit and has helped raise €140,000 for Age Action who help older people stay warm and well during the worst of our Irish winters.

People aged 65 and over are seven times more likely to be hospitalised because of colder temperatures, compared with those aged 18 to 44. Every winter, as many as 2,000 older people in Ireland die needlessly because of complications due to the cold.

Each little hat knitted by Irish volunteers sits on top of innocent smoothie bottles in shops and cafés across the country and for each one sold, 30c is donated to Age Action.

Age Action’s Justin Moran said: “We’re really grateful to innocent and to the hundreds of people, young and old, across Ireland who make this campaign such a success every year. Every cent goes to fund our Care & Repair programme.

“This provides a DIY service for older people and it’s particularly important at winter when older people need the kind of minor repairs that ensure they can keep safe and warm.”

Star knitters Delo, Noirín, Ann and Winnie accept innocent Ireland’s donation of €20,000 to Age Action as part of the annual Big Knit campaign.
Star knitters Delo, Noirín, Ann and Winnie accept innocent Ireland’s donation of €20,000 to Age Action as part of the annual Big Knit campaign.

Bláthnaid McKenna, Brand and Digital Manager for innocent Ireland, says: “We are really proud of the Big Knit and what it does to help older people stay warm and well in winter.

“Over the past seven years, we’ve worked with Age Action to achieve great results. The generosity of each Irish knitter around the country is truly overwhelming and fills us with a great sense of pride.”

Older people looking to contact the Care & Repair service can call Age Action on 01 475 6989.

Visit for patterns, knitting inspiration and more. 


Call for Voices of Older People to be Heard

Age Action welcomes relaxation of some cocooning measures but criticises lack of consultation with older people.



(1 May) Age Action called for the Government to consult with older people as it plans for the longer-term impacts of Covid-19. To date, public health and Government advice has treated the over 70 age cohort as one. As a single age cohort people over the age of 70 have been subject to public health measures but not enabled to participate in the decision-making process that would ensure that their lived experience and their self-identified needs informs the outcome.