Gran-tastic! Retired grannies turn old socks into cuddly toys for sick children

While most of the mascots are donated at Christmas the group meet and sew them all year round. Seniorzy w Łodzi/Facebook

Kind-hearted grannies has put their knitting skills to good effect by making cuddly toys for sick children out of old socks.

Beginning their venture in 2019 by making stuffed monkeys, the retirees have now expanded their oeuvre to include among other things cuddly cats, dogs and owls for the University Centre of Paediatrics Central Clinical Hospital in Łódź.

The group began in 2019 with making cuddly monkeys.Seniorzy w Łodzi/Facebook

Irena Lemiesz, a 72 year old volunteer from Łódź, told Fakt newspaper: “This is a great idea for many reasons.

“I am alone, I have a lot of time, I am retired and I still have a lot of energy. I have a job and I can see its meaning: I know that this toy will be used by a suffering child who is in the hospital.

“I create something into which I put my work and heart to make a sick child smile for a moment. I know that he will be able to cuddle up to this colourful, cheerful monkey that I made.”

The retirees have now expanded their oeuvre to include among other things cuddly cats, dogs and owls for the University Centre of Paediatrics Central Clinical Hospital in Łódź.Klub-Seniora-Cieszkowskiego/Facebook

While most of the mascots are donated at Christmas the group meet and sew them all year round giving them a sense of purpose and strengthening their bond to their city and community, with local sock producer Many Mornings offering up some of their colourful designs.

Another volunteer named Ania, told Łódź city website: “I will never forget the meeting with a sick 17-year-old boy in the hospital.

“We were distributing socks to sick children and I wanted to give this boy a sock monkey. I thought it was too big, how will I give him such a soft toy but he asked me if he could get a monkey like that to cuddle. It was very touching.”Local sock producer Many Mornings offers up some of their colourful designs.Seniorzy w Łodzi/FacebookDespite their appeal to children of all ages the group has altered their designs to remove all ‘hair’ from the toys to better protect younger children.

Another member of the group told the city’s website: “We're doing it for the kids. Babies need a hug, especially when they are struggling with a serious illness.

“Thanks to the fact that we have a choice of various socks, our mascots have fabulously colourful patterns. We hope that, at least for a moment, they bring a smile to the faces of sick children.”

One volunteer said: “Thanks to the fact that we have a choice of various socks, our mascots have fabulously colourful patterns. We hope that, at least for a moment, they bring a smile to the faces of sick children.”Klub-Seniora-Cieszkowskiego/Facebook

Katarzyna Jarosińska, head of Łódź’s senior planning department, told Radio Łódź: “More ladies are joining the action of sewing mascots.

“They meet at Active Seniors Centres, but many of them take work home.

“There are probably around twenty ladies now.”