POETRY: Volunteer knitters have heart – and big ones at that

Wee Josie’s haun knitted hearts bring love and poems to patients in local hospitals

By Lucy Ashton

In January we made an appeal for knitted hearts to allow families to feel close to their relatives as they battled COVID – and the response has been immense.

With services in NHSGGC far busier than during the first wave, we appealed for local communities to pick up their knitting needles and crotchet hooks again to support our ‘From the Heart’ campaign.

One lady from Duntocher took it one step closer – by attaching little heartfelt poems which she had written herself.

This gentle reminder is here to say,
You are loved and missed every day!

Josie Torrance (75), who had helped first time round, was one of the first to respond to our appeal.

She said: “I just wanted to help, so I put some wee messages in, to let them know they were loved. I just wanted to do something to help.”

As well as being a skilled knitter, Josie set to work writing little poems to include with her beautiful hearts.

Nae widden heart wid comfort ye
So here’s a wee knitted yin
Jist big enough tae fit yer haun
Wae ma love aw knitted in!

Josie is a well known, retired school teacher who does lots of charity work for Artists for Mary’s Meals and St Mary’s Church in Duntocher.

Her husband, David (Torrie), pictured right, is a kenspeckle figure in Clydebank where he was a shop steward when the late Jimmy Reid and fellow trade unionists took over what became Upper Clyde Shipyards.

Josie added: “Me and my husband are doing ok, but I know so many people are having a difficult time. I hope my hearts – and my poems – help a little.”

Assistant Chief Nurse Sandra Blades says her team were delighted at the great response to the appeal.

She said: “People are just so kind. The response has been incredible – we’ve been blown away.

“When Josie’s parcel arrived you could feel there was so much love and thought had gone into her work and the messages were just beautiful.

“I want to thank everyone who has responded. It means so much to know you are with us in these difficult times.”

Please send your knitted hearts to: ‘From the Heart’ campaign, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, JB Russell House, Gartnavel Royal site, 1055 Great Western Road, Glasgow, G12 0XH. Please also include your name and email address or postal address if you don’t have one.

Simple free to use pattern here

Winter’s come, the snow has fell …

Here is the rest of Glasgow cartoonist Bud Neill’s poem, which this wee story from the health board brought to mind. The picture is of snow at Maryland, Dumbarton. Editor


Winter’s come, the snow has fell
Wee Josie’s nose is froze as well
Wee Josie’s frozen nose is skintit
…..Winter’s diabolic, intit?

Josie Torrance

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