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Janet helps to spread cheer through knitting!

Janet Craddock is a Training Development Officer at Realise. Based in Walsall, she spends her working life supporting Health and Social Care learners to achieve their goals. Outside of work, she is an avid knitter and has been putting her skills to incredible use, knitting hats for premature babies and the homeless. 

Care has always been a passion for Janet, the vocation runs in her family, which meant that she spent many happy years as a Support Worker for those with learning difficulties. Janet later went on to join Realise, where she said that her team is: “Great! We all support each other, and we can count on each other!”

She told us: “I started knitting when I had my twins in the 60s as it was the thing we did! Over the years, I have knitted myself jumpers and cardigans. I find it very therapeutic.” 

In 2019, a family bereavement led Janet to start using her hobby to help others. She said: “I started knitting for premature babies two years ago. It started when I was supporting my older sister as she had lost her husband, so she and I joined the local Natters and Knitters group at the church. We joined initially to support her to meet other people in her situation.”

From there, Janet has continued to use her skills to help vulnerable people. She explains: “My local hospital had run short of hats for premature babies, so I have knitted twenty hats for them. In addition to the hats, I also made a mixture of cardigans and jumpers to match.”

“I have also knitted fifteen hats for the homeless, as the weather can be very cold, and two hats for my elderly neighbour. Additionally, I have knitted jumpers for my granddaughter, who suffers with her mental health, to help cheer her up.”

Janet’s talents don’t stop there, she is also a keen gardener, much to the delight of her neighbours. She told us: “I do gardening in the communal garden. I plant and grow tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce, cauliflower, cabbage, beetroot, onions and strawberries, which I share with my elderly neighbours.  I also plant all the flowers in the garden so it gives everyone somewhere nice to sit when the weather permits!”

Janet devotes her life to helping others to feel more comfortable and is an amazing example to all of us.

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