AN avid knitter who has donated thousands of items to hospitals in South Yorkshire has been nominated for a Proud of Barnsley award.

Sheryll Dixon, of New Chapel Avenue, Cubley, started Penistone Knitting Group more than two years ago - something which is going from ‘strength-to-strength’ according to the 52-year-old, who said she is now donating to seven hospitals.

“I’m a nurse by profession but had to give it up to look after my disabled daughter,” said Sheryll.

“She’s now 28 and lives full-time with her carer in Barnsley, but I wanted to give something back now that I have a bit more time. I used to work at Jessops in my training, so wanted to help them out.

“I am a representative for Handmade with Love Preemie Baby Blankets and originally just used their patterns, but as the group has progressed I have sourced free patterns on the internet and shared them to my group page.”

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Penistone Knitting Group is a ‘virtual group’ on Facebook, but Sheryll said there are more than ten knitting and craft groups from across Penistone and Barnsley involved.

“I have more than 50 knitting for me and have started supporting other areas of the country. We’re totally not-for-profit and I do this for the joy that it brings to so many people,” added Sheryll. “A lot of people join the group because they no longer have anybody to knit for and want to continue doing so to help someone.

“When I go to the knitting group meetings the people there are absolutely buzzing with big similes on their faces.

“On a personal level I thoroughly enjoy it, and cannot believe how much the group has grown. The first year I did it I kept it to just Facebook and the local area, but when I kickstarted it again to a wider audience last November, I was inundated.

“It makes it particularly special for me when I get thank you letters and cards from not only the hospitals but the parents themselves.”

Sheryll has teamed up with Age UK Barnsley as part of its social inclusion project to help isolated elderly people who might want to join the group. She has also joined up with the charities Emily’s Star and Dresses for Angels.

For more information, search for Penistone Knitting Group on Facebook or visit justgiving.com/crowdfunding/sheryll-dixon.