How dementia has not stopped Margaret from helping her carers and raising funds for NHS

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A grandmother who has dementia has been sewing face masks for her carers and in the process, raising money for the NHS.

Margaret Blyth, 88, who suffers with vascular dementia, has always been a passionate seamstress, spending much of her spare time creating toys and other items for children at St Andrews Hospice.

She was diagnosed with the debilitating condition eight years ago and now feels most comfortable when she is sat in front of a sewing machine, working on her creations.

At the start of the coronavirus lockdown, she started making face masks for her carers to wear, which she would give them every time they came over.

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Margaret Blyth was diagnosed with dementia eight years ago but remains a passionate seamstress

At first, these were given out for free but the carers felt Margaret’s kind gesture could be put to good use and are now donating £1 every time they receive a face mask.  The money will be given to Grimsby’s hospital.

Margaret has even started to receive requests from her neighbours, who are also donating to the cause.

Her daughter Julie Harris said: “Eight years ago my mum was diagnosed with vascular dementia, which has affected her in a lot of ways but hasn’t stopped her drive and will to help people.

“She has always been a seamstress and loves to create things and since her diagnosis, spends a lot of her time at her sewing machine creating stuffed toys and things for St Andrews Hospice. Over the past eight years she has donated hundreds and hundreds of toys.

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Some of the toys which Margaret Blyth has been creating for children at St Andrew’s Hospice in Grimsby

“When the lockdown began she started making masks for the carers who come and look after her.

“She would give them out for free because she was happy making them, but then they decided that they should donate £1 for every mask and the money will be given to the Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital.

“In the past few weeks she has raised more than £100 and there are still some more people requesting orders, so we have had to start a little production line!

“I am just so thankful to everyone who has helped my mum out and supported her so that she has been able to do this for others.”

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Margaret Blyth, who has been creating face masks for her carers despite her dementia

Julie is keen to set up a fundraising page for her mum as she continues making the masks.

She said: “Due to her dementia, there are often times that my mum can be a bit forgetful but when she has a goal in front of her and a drive to do something good, she becomes much more comfortable.

“She loves to sew and even now, she will help her neighbours if they need their trousers taking up a bit or something mended.”

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The people of northern Lincolnshire have been warming hearts with their selfless gestures.

They say challenging times often bring out the best in people – and that’s what we’re seeing here in GrimsbyCleethorpes and Scunthorpe.

We want to celebrate anybody and everybody who is helping others through the coronavirus outbreak and have set up a special area dedicated to them on our website.

This includes but is not limited to our heroes in the NHS, policing teams, supermarket workers, delivery drivers and cleaners.

Not to forget our wonderful community members who have been helping others out in any way they can! It’s a huge thank you to you ALL.

So, click here to view our live blog and if you have something you want to share email paige.freshwater@reachplc.com

It comes as residents all over North East Lincolnshire have been doing their but to create PPE for carers and NHS workers.

A number of businesses in the area have also changed course from their normal work to use their facilities for creating everything from face masks and visors to hand sanitizer.



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