Saturday, 17 May 2008

David gets knitting

This is from a recent column by David Drew, MP for Stroud, in his local paper:

OVER the last few weeks friends of mine have been furiously knitting baby hats. In my case it has been more a case of painfully knitting one. This is in direct response to a plea by a colleague of mine, Kerry McCarthy the MP for Bristol East who emailed me asking me to take part in the Save the Children's Knit Kit campaign, encouraging me to Knit A Hat To Save A Life.

This will reach its culmination at a presentation on May 19 in Parliament when I hope to be able to hand over 50 different baby hats at least one of which I will be responsible for. In having a go, I quickly realised how poor my skillbase is, but I got a bit of support from my wife, my neighbour and my mother-in-law. I hope from some of you too might still join in by getting details from the Save the Children.

You can down load the Hat Pattern from the Save the Children website by going through the link What can you do' or if you wish pop into my office in 5a Lansdown and you can pick up a copy. I would like to take up to Westminster as many hats as possible.

Doing a bit of research tells me that the hat that I knitted (hopefully without too many holes!) can save a life. About half of the babies born in Tibet suffer from hypothermia during their first week of life. They are much more likely to catch pneumonia which still kills about 2 million children every year. It only takes two minutes for a wet newborn baby to lose a dangerous two degrees in body temperature and most of that is lost through their head. Babies in both hot and cold climates are at risk. I remember when my younger son was born in Stroud Maternity Hospital, he was two weeks early and fairly small and although we had what we thought were all the things he needed he was cold despite being a warm May. The midwives at Stroud Maternity gave us a white hand knitted hat to keep him warm and happy in his first few days.

We often think that making things better can only be achieved by big actions involving lots of money. I believe it is the small actions that add up and do the most good. That's why I'm asking you to help. Please get knitting and bring your finished hats to my office so we can all make a real difference to someone who really matters - a new born baby.

I'll be doing my bit at Get Knitted in Brislington (Europe's biggest knitting shop) on June 7th, at one of their regular Knit and Natter sessions. And no, I can't knit - but I'm seeing my mother tomorrow (Happy Birthday Mum!) and although she doesn't know it yet, she's going to be teaching me!

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