Knitting can provide a warm, safe and nurturing feeling – especially to little ones who are new to this world. The charity Mylo and Friends is dedicated to providing premature babies and their parents with a helping hand at the beginning of their early lives.
The kind-hearted charity was founded back in December 2014, when Mylo’s mother, Stevie Delaney, found herself delivering him earlier than expected. “When Mylo was born Stevie had nothing,” says volunteer Rachael Vincent. “She wanted to make sure there was a charity that could offer other families bags with necessary bits in.”
What's inside the baby care bags
Those ‘bits’ include helpful items such as micro nappies, cotton wool and vests. The bags also contain knitted items, lovingly crafted by knitters around the country. These include blankets, cardigans, bootees, hats, mittens and toys.
“When babies are born prematurely most families don’t have any clothing items or nappies to fit them,” says Rachael. “Our bags provide a few items so parents don’t have to leave their babies and go out to get these items.”
Most of the bags are delivered to Burnley General Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), but as support has grown the bags have found their way to hospitals all across the UK.
As word of Mylo and Friends’ cause spreads online and through word-of-mouth, support continues to grow. An ever-increasing number of generous knitters are setting aside time to knit little bootees, small blankets, or special toys for the newborns to find comfort in.
“It’s so lovely that we get lots of donations of knitted items,” says Rachael. “They make each bag different.”
The charity is a team effort
Rachael says that there are six volunteers involved in the daily running of the charity now, helping to organise and distribute the bags to where they are needed. They also assist with running the charity’s Facebook page, where families and supporters alike can find help and advice. The page shares links for where families can find support groups for parents of premature babies and explains how they can obtain a Mylo and Friends care bag.
It also has ideas for what knitters (or crocheters) can include in their donations. Many knitters send whole boxes of knitted goodies – with items ranging from 20 or so hats to an abundance of blankets.
Three years has seen a lot of change for the charity, including the arrival of Mylo’s little brother Loki. Stevie and the others are determined to keep providing support and care where they can, and continue to welcome knitters everywhere to pick up their needles to help Mylo and Friends.
To find out more about Mylo and Friends and how you can knit for the bags, visit their Facebook page.