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Great-great grandmother knits for newborns

A great-great grandmother in Cheslyn Hay has been knitting for newborns at the hospital which cared for her first great-grandson, Jacob. Joan Thacker, 88, has donated the handmade hats, bootees and blankets to the maternity ward at New Cross Hospital where baby Jacob was born earlier this month.  

Joan, who lives in a retirement living community managed by Care Plus, turned to knitting in an effort to keep busy while she was unable to see family or friends during lockdown.  

“There is usually a lot going on here. I meet my neighbours most days in the communal lounge and get together with my family each weekend. All that stopped while we have been careful to stay safe in our own homes. I needed something to do and knitting has kept me sane.” 

Joan began by knitting for the baby expected by her granddaughter, Rhea. Before long she had produced so much that the spare bedroom in her bungalow had been turned into temporary storage space for the countless carefully-crafted garments. 

With the birth of Jacob on 7 June, Joan decided to donate her knitting to the maternity ward at New Cross Hospital. 

“It’s my way of thanking the staff who looked after Rhea and Jacob and of giving something back to our wonderful NHS,” says Joan. “Clapping for keyworkers each week made me think about how much our doctors, nurses and carers have done for us.” 

Baby Jacob visited his great-grandmother for the first time, when Rhea brought him for a socially-distanced meeting on the path outside Joan’s home. Naturally, he was cosily wrapped in one of her precious knits.   

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