Crochet call to help incubator kids in Leeds and beyond

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If you’re into chrochet and you find yourself at a loose end… so to speak, then a specialist charity wants to hear from you.

Octopus for a Preemie UK supplies 2,500 crocheted and knitted octopuses to hospitals every month, including 200 a month to St James’s, Leeds General Infirmary, Pinderfields and Calderdale hospitals.

The ‘comforters’ are given to babies in incubators which are either born prematurely or are receiving special care.

Laura Dennant, charity co-ordinator for yorkshire, said: “The project started in Denmark and has spread across Europe and out to the USA, Canada and Australia. The octopuses are designed so that the tentacles replicate the curl and wave of the umbilical cord which the babies play with in the mother’s womb.

“They have shown to be effective in providing something for them to hold onto and preventing the babies pulling at the wires and tubes that are helping them. It is reported that the babies appear comforted and calmed by the presence of the octopus, and this helps promote increase in the oxygen levels and steadying of their heart rates which promotes their recovery.

“Octopus for a Preemie UK is a UK wide initiative and independent charity that aims to supply every Neonatal Unit in hospitals in the UK with crocheted and knitted Octopus Comforters to premature babies and babies born requiring special care. We need more support to assist these premature babies. We really need funding and donations as well as makers.

All the octopuses are submitted to a network of dedicated coordinators, each one is then checked to ensure it meets strict criteria before delivered.

There will be a workshop at Hobbycraft, Crown Point, Leeds on August 5. Contact: or email: or twitter: @octopusfor