Knitters need to help Joan help babies

100-year-old Queensland resident Joan Young has been knitting beanies for newborns at Mater Mothers' Hospital in South Brisbane. Photo Lyndon Mechielsen

A 100-year-old Queensland grandmother with a passion for knitting is helping hundreds of tiny newborns keep warm at Mater Mothers’ Hospital at South Brisbane and she is hoping other’s will join in and help too.

Joan Young, who turned 100 in May, started knitting when she was just 10 and hasn’t stopped.

Mrs Young said she felt compelled to help Mater’s tiny patients after purchasing Mater Prize Home tickets and learning about the Mater little miracle babies whose lives had been saved thanks to around-the-close specialist care.

“Every time I buy tickets, I read about how these tiny babies have been saved thanks to life-saving treatment at Mater. I thought ‘I have to do something for these little babies’.”

Gold Coast resident Mrs Young, who has five children, nine grandchildren, 15 great grandchildren and four great great grandchildren spends much of her time knitting baby booties.

Mater Mothers’ Hospital Assistant Director of Clinical Services Kathleen Goldsmith said Mrs Young’s hand-made booties had made a big impact to families welcoming a new baby.

“To receive a package with something so sentimental is priceless,” Ms Goldsmith said.

Mrs Young, from Merrimac, enjoys knitting each day and said over the years she had made thousands of baby shawls and booties for other hospitals around the state.

“I just love knitting. It’s nice to see the result of my work – in no time I have something that takes shape,” Mrs Young said.

“I was young when I started knitting. When I was 12 my mum taught me how to make booties and I still use the same pattern.”

Mater Volunteer Senior Manager Judy Johnson is calling on volunteers to join an army of knitters to donate more beanies for newborns, including premature babies at the hospital.

About 40 babies are born each day at Mater Mothers’ Hospital, Ms Johnson said.

“The beanies are used in birth suites and theatre recovery wards to maintain the temperature of babies when they are first born,” she said.

“We have a shortage on beanies at the moment and any help we can get to warm little heads and hearts is greatly appreciated.”

Ms Johnson asked knitters to follow a specific pattern which can be found via

Beanies can be delivered or sent to: Mater Mothers’ Hospital, Level 5, Raymond Terrace, South Brisbane, 4101. Phone 3163 8000 for more information.

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