A group of WI members have come up with a novel way of saying thanks for a series of concerts starring the likes of top tenor Rhyl Meirion.
The Tonic concerts at the Galeri centre in Caernarfon are sponsored by the arts-loving Pendine Park care organisation who have just opened Bryn Seiont Newydd, a new centre of excellence for dementia care in the town.
Among the regulars at the highly popular afternoon concerts are members of the Dwygyfylchi branch of the WI who got knitting as a way of showing their appreciation to Pendine Park.
They have made a selection of so called twiddle mitts – hand muffs with all manner of bits and bobs attached to them – which are designed to stimulate dementia patients.
WI member Denise Fisher said: “People who suffer from dementia tend to fidget a lot, their fingers are never still. These twiddle mitts have buttons, zips and beads firmly sown both on the inside and outside.
“Dementia sufferers gain a great deal from simply feeling and fiddling with the bits and bobs attached to the twiddlemits. It can prove to be a very relaxing and stimulating.”
Rhys Meirion said: “The WI ladies have done a wonderful job and I’m thrilled they enjoy the Tonic performances so much.
“The Pendine Park care organisation sponsorship is very important. I thoroughly enjoy performing at the concerts which are always sell outs.
“The twiddle mitts look very impressive and I’m sure residents of Bryn Seiont Newydd will really appreciate all the hard work the ladies have put into knitting and making them.”
Knitting the twiddle mitts as a way of saying thank you to Pendine Park was the idea of Dwygyfylchi WI member Gwyneth Owen, 83.
She said: “My friend is now in a care home herself. I go and visit but she doesn’t recognise me anymore.
“I saw how she liked twiddle mitts after I made one for her and thought it would be a good idea if we, as a group, made some for the residents of Bryn Seiont Newydd. We made a total of 14.
“We are so pleased Pendine Park supports the Tonic concerts. I wouldn’t come out in the evening so to be able to come in the afternoon and enjoy the music and meet all my friends is really important.”
She added: “We just wanted to say thank you to Pendine Park for supporting the concerts. It means a great deal to a lot of older people who come along and enjoy them.”
Bryn Seoint Newydd manager, Sandra Evans was delighted to accept the twiddle mitts and thanked the WI ladies for their hard work.
She said: “They will certainly provide an opportunity for our residents who suffer from dementia to relax.
“Clearly, the WI ladies have put a great deal of work and effort into making the twiddle mitts, they are absolutely gorgeous and very colourful. I’m sure our residents will find them stimulating.”
She added: “Pendine Park is delighted to sponsor the Tonic concerts at Galeri, Caernarfon. I know how important they are to a great many people and the fact every available seat is taken if testament to just how popular they are.
“Some older people don’t feel comfortable coming out in the evening so to have a chance to enjoy good music in the afternoon and to be able to socialise with friends in the wonderful setting that is Galeri is really important.”