Woman knits baby and children’s clothes for charity

AN elderly woman has been knitting jumpers for babies and children for a charity.

Phyllis Coker, 88, began after moving into the Chilterns Court Care Centre in York Road, Henley, in September.

She decided to use her favourite hobby to support Helen and Douglas House, a children’s hospice in Oxford because it keeps her busy.

Mrs Coker, who used to live in Nettlebed, said: “I’m happy to do my bit for charity while giving myself something productive and useful to do.

“I don’t have many other hobbies, so I always go back to knitting.”

She was taught to knit at a young age by her sister Betty Mooring.

“I’ve made so many of these jumpers that my hands just know what to do,” she said. “I know the pattern off by heart — it must be all the years of practice.”

The jumpers are delivered to the Helen and Douglas House charity shop in Market Place by Mrs Coker’s son Ian and his wife Kate.

Store manager Paula Cockman said: “We are so grateful to Phyllis for knitting all these wonderful jumpers. They are really popular with our customers and always sell out very quickly.

“People often come in to ask when we will be getting more in and we have people asking for bigger sizes for when their children have grown out of the ones they have bought.

“It’s great that our customers will now know the face behind the lovely jumpers.”

Candy Trevethan, activities co-ordinator at Chilterns Court, which is operated by the Orders of St John Care Trust, said: “Phyllis has settled in very well here and we are delighted she has chosen to continue to do something she enjoys.

“Phyllis’s passion for knitting is infectious. She even has a mug that says, ‘If I can’t take my knitting with me I’m not going’.

“She’s inspiring others in the home to take it up and we are starting a knit and natter group for those in the home who want to join in.”