Knit-in for breast cancer a real knock-out success!

Volunteer knitters with the Mayor, Councillor Garath Keating. INPT36-018
Volunteer knitters with the Mayor, Councillor Garath Keating. INPT36-018

The Civic Centre was alive with the click of knitting needles when up to 60 local women joined for a sponsored knit-in to support breast cancer survivors.

The women - plus others who were knitting from home - had responded to a call from local woman Joanne Harris to come together to knit breast prostheses.

Joanne recently set up the first Northern Ireland branch of Knitted Knockers, as a practical way to help her friend recover after a mastectomy.

The knit-in volunteers not only completed 48 ‘knitted knockers’ on the day but also raised £1,328 - well above the £400 originally envisaged.

The knockers will be supplied free to all breast clinics throughout Northern Ireland, with the Southern Trust being the first to receive them.

Heather Trouton, Southern Trust assistant director of acute services, said, “It is a pleasure to receive these on behalf of the Glenanne Unit. I know that the women and staff will really appreciate the time and effort that has gone into crafting the knitted knockers. They will be a very welcome alternative to other prostheses.”

Meanwhile, the money raised will go towards funding the next knit-in at the end of this month and supplying yarn, needles and materials for its knitting guild.

Asda, which has come on board to support the initiative, will be hosting the next sponsored knit-in, in connection with its Tickled Pink campaign.

And the local group has also linked up with charity Cancer Focus who are offering a free bra fitting service to people who have had breast cancer surgery.

The Civic Centre event was hosted by The Lord Mayor of ABC Council, Councillor Garath Keating who spent time chatting with the knitters.

Among those who also lent their support were MLAs Jo-Anne Dobson, who is the chairperson of the Stormont All-Party Group on Cancer, and Carla Lockhart, as well as Elaine Livingstone of Asda.

Knitted Knockers are hand-made for women who have undergone mastectomies or other procedures to the breast. Traditional breast prosthetics are usually expensive, heavy, sweaty and uncomfortable.

Knitted Knockers, on the other hand, are soft and comfortable and when placed in a regular bra take the shape and feel of a real breast.

To order a free Knitted Knocker, join the knitting group, book a workshop, host a knit-in or organise a joint fundraiser email or Facebook Knitted Knockers of Northern Ireland.