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Celebrating 10 years of knitting with the Big Knit

Published 05/02/2019


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

Age Action and innocent drinks have launched the 2019 Big Knit, calling on knitters around the country to help knit little hats to raise funds for Age Action by July 31st.

We’re woolly excited 

Winnie O’Doherty, Churchtown (right),  and Anne Kelly, (left) Inchicore  members of the Age Action Camden Street knitting circle helped launch Big Knit 2019 with Age Action and innocent drinks along with Brendan Courtney and his mother Nuala. Knitters around the country are asked to help knit little hats to raise funds for Age Action. For every hat received by innocent, 30c is donated to Age Action, Ireland’s leading advocacy organisation for older people which raises awareness of the valuable contribution older people make to society and advocates for the rights of all older people.


innocent drinks Ireland is asking knitters and crocheters around the country to knit 100,000 little hats in a fundraising effort for Age Action. For every hat received by innocent, 30c is donated to Age Action, Ireland’s leading advocacy organisation for older people which raises awareness of the valuable contribution older people make to society and advocates for the rights of all older people.

From now until 31 July 2019, innocent and Age Action are calling out to veteran knitters and newcomers alike, to grab their knitting needles and get clacking for this brilliant cause.

Caroline O'Connell, Head of Fundraising at Age Action, said: “The Big Knit is one of Age Action’s longest running fundraising campaigns, raising vital funds for our work as well as generating awareness of the issues facing older people. At the heart of the campaign is the idea that anyone can help an older person stay well and warm during the more difficult winter months simply by knitting a hat.  Many older people struggle over the colder months and this campaign helps Age Action to be there for older people when they need us most; whether they need information or small repairs done to their homes to help them be winter ready, the Big Knit helps us to deliver that service.”

Laura O’Connell, Communities Specialist at innocent said: “We are really proud of the Big Knit at innocent and what it does to help older people stay warm and well in winter. Over the years we’ve worked with Age Action and the generosity of each Irish knitter around the country is truly overwhelming and fills us with a great sense of pride. And, of course, it’s always nice to get a nation knitting.”

Winnie O’Doherty, star knitter for the Big Knit and a member of an Age Action knitting group that meets in the Age Action Store on Camden Street every week says: “I love knitting with the Age Action knitting group. I’ve been coming here nearly every week for the last 9 years; 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!”

Brendan Courtney said “Myself and my Mum Nuala are thrilled to be part of the Age Action innocent Big Knit 2019. Knitting circles are popping up all over the country which is a great way to keep communities connected especially when they bring young and old together. The beauty of these little hats is that they don't have to be catwalk standard - just knitted with care for our older friends and family".

Over the past ten years the Irish public knitted an astonishing 490,000 hats and helped raise €170,000 for Age Action.   

From October 2019, 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 2019, 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.




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.