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The innocent Big Knit is back and it’s bigger than ever

Published 28/02/2017

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Age Action and innocent drinks have launched the 2017 Big Knit, calling on the knitters of Ireland to produce 100,000 little hats. We’re woolly excited.

Over the past eight years the Irish public and our supporters have knitted an astonishing 390,000 hats and have helped raise €140,000 for Age Action which goes directly to funding our Care & Repair service.

This service supports volunteers carrying out free DIY jobs for older people and helping them stay safe and warm in their homes during our cold Irish winters.

People aged 65 and over are seven times more likely to be hospitalised as a result of colder temperatures, compared with those aged 18 to 44. 

100,000 hats!

From now until 31 July 2017, innocent and Age Action are calling out to veteran knitters and newcomers alike, to pull up a comfy chair, grab their knitting needles & wool and cast-on for this brilliant cause.  

Justin Moran, Head of Advocacy and Communications, said: “This year we are seriously upping the game. We’re looking for 100,000 hats and to do that we need every knitter in Ireland to get those needles clicking.

“They can be any colour, any design or look and we have plenty of patterns and ideas to spark your imagination at www.thebigknit.ie.”

Star Big Knitter Winnie O'Donoghue
Star Big Knitter Winnie O'Donoghue

Star knitter

Winnie O’Doherty, star knitter for the Big Knit and a member of an Age Action knitting group that meets in our shop on Camden Street every week says:

“I love knitting with the Age Action knitting group. I come here every week; I like the company. We’re great friends and we have a good natter. We really understand each other and give each other some good tips, not only on knitting.”

Bláthnaid McKenna, Brand Manager with innocent drinks Ireland, said: “Now in its 8th year, we're very proud of the Big Knit at innocent drinks as, through it, we've been able to donate €140,000 to Age Action and help older people stay well and warm in winter.

“This year, we’ve decided to make an even bigger difference, so, for the first time since the Big Knit started, we are aiming to put 100,000 little hats on our smoothie bottles.”

The knitty gritty

Every winter, as many as 2,000 older people in Ireland die needlessly because of complications due to the cold.

Last year’s donation of €20,000 funded 24,000 DIY jobs in 34 locations around the country, through Age Action’s Care & Repair programme.

All the hats are hand-knitted by people around Ireland.

From October 2017, the nation’s little hats will appear on innocent smoothie bottles (250ml) across the country. For each bottle sold wearing a little hat, innocent Drinks will donate 30 cent to Age Action.

Hats can be sent to The Big Knit 2017, innocent drinks, Fruit Towers, 2 Ballsbridge Park, Dublin 4 or dropped into any of Age Action’s shops or offices in Dublin, Cork, Galway and Monaghan. 

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World Refugee Day

 Today, June 20th is World Refugee Day. The number of people fleeing war, persecution and conflict exceeded 70 million in 2018. This is the highest level that UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, has seen in its almost 70 years. Data from UNHCR’s annual Global Trends report, released this week shows that almost 70.8 million people are now forcibly displaced. To put this in perspective, this is double the level of 20 years ago, 2.3 million more than a year ago, and corresponds to a population between that of Thailand and Turkey.   Today, older refugees make up some 8.5 per cent of the overall population of concern to UNHCR, and by 2050 more of the world will be over 60 than under 12. Older refugees experience an additional burden due to their age and associated conditions. In a report published by the Centre for Policy on Ageing and Age UK, they identified that “the main issues facing older refugees and asylum seekers are low income, the language barrier, the risk of loneliness and a lack of social networks, and possibly a loss of social status”.  Reduced mobility and a high number of chronic medical conditions also greatly impact the life of an older refugee, as adequate and culturally appropriate healthcare is often difficult to access. As well, throughout their time in refugee shelters, older refugees are also more likely to experience social disintegration, the impact of negative social selection and chronic dependency on the resources of refugee shelters. According to the International Federation on Ageing “The contributions of older refugees can have far-reaching impacts on the preservation of the cultures and traditions of disposed and displaced people. The wisdom and experiences of older refugees must be harnessed through formal and informal leadership roles, to improve the welfare of all refugees”. Marion MacGregor, writing for InfoMigrants says “Older refugees can be seen as an asset, rather than simply requiring special care. In many families, it falls to them to look after children so that their parents can work….. Older people are transmitters of culture, skills and crafts that are important in preserving traditions of displaced people. The resilience of older people can help to strengthen communities and they can contribute to positive and peace-building interactions with the local host communities.”    

You might be due a tax refund

 

 

Revenue wants to make sure that everyone knows about the tax credits, reliefs and exemptions they are entitled to. Revenue wrote to some people recently telling them that they might be entitled to a tax refund going back as far as 2014.
If you think that you might also be due a tax refund for the year 2014, you need to submit a claim to Revenue before midnight on 31 December 2018. If you don’t want to miss out, submit your claim to Revenue before then.