Knitters answer call for help

Some of the ladies who attended the Knocker Knitters event at the Seagoe Hotel on Monday evening. INPT30-203.
Some of the ladies who attended the Knocker Knitters event at the Seagoe Hotel on Monday evening. INPT30-203.

An appeal for volunteers to take part in a knit-in to help women recovering from breast cancer has been met with an “amazing response”.

Joanne Harris, who recently set up the Northern Ireland branch of Knitted Knockers, said she was overwhelmed by the response to last week’s appeal in the Portadown Times and Lurgan Mail for 100 volunteers to knit the knockers (prostheses).

Dozens of women contacted her by email and Facebook and around 60 people also turned up at the Seagoe Hotel on Monday night to hear details of the project and volunteer their services.

Joanne, who is from Dollingstown but is in the process of moving to Portadown, was inspired to set up the group to help her friend recover from a mastectomy. The hand-made prostheses fit into bras and are lighter and more comfortable than the hospital alternatives.

Said Joanne, “An exciting development is that some established knitting groups have offered to take us on as a project which is amazing. The group is an opportunity for men and women to come together as a community to support our loved ones and friends who are battling breast cancer.”

A date for the sponsored knit-in has been arranged - it will take place on Saturday, August 27 at the Civic Centre from 9am -1pm. Among those lending their support are MLAs Jo-Anne Dobson and Carla Lockhart.

Said Ms Lockhart, “This is a much needed development for women who have undergone a mastectomy. Up to 80 women locally are unable to have a breast reconstruction in Craigavon Area Hospital and this is an excellent and potentially better alternative for them.”

Said Mrs Dobson, “Those who have undergone a mastectomy after a cancer diagnosis are met with many challenges. It’s marvellous that a committed army of ladies from across Upper Bann are creating ‘Knitted Knockers’ to provide greater comfort and to show just how much they care about others.

“I was delighted at their inaugural meeting the ladies accepted my invitation to take their campaign to Stormont to give their presentation to the All party group on cancer which I chair.”