Over the past few months, members of the BC Brain Wellness Program “Crafters for a Cause” group created comfort mitts for people living with dementia who are in hospital.

Crafters for a Cause is one of more than 25 programs run by the BC Brain Wellness Program, which is housed in the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health and aims to promote brain wellness beyond all boundaries. The program launched in 2019 and now offers a variety of classes including exercise, improv, art and book club, all aimed at keeping people healthy outside of their clinical visits.

Crafters for a Cause involves people across the country who meet up once a month virtually to knit, sew and crochet. Recently, a group of nine crafters completed more than 40 comfort mitts and fidget blankets which provide tactile stimulation by acting as something to fidget with and a focus of conversation. They keep hands busy and minds active and have been known to decrease anxiety. The items were donated to Vancouver General Hospital where many people with dementia receive medical care.

Crafters for a Cause members are now working on creating comfort items such as handmade blankets, stuffed animals, inspirational cards and masks to be part of welcome kits for families staying at Ronald McDonald House.

“As I was collecting the creations, the impact of the project became apparent as some of the contributors described ‘feeling good by doing good,’” says Elaine Book, BC Brain Wellness Program member and coordinator of the group. “This is really an example of an institutional collaboration with far reaching benefits.”

If you are interested in joining Crafters for a Cause, drop by the next Zoom get together on Monday May 17 at 3pm (register with the  BC Brain Wellness Program) or contact elaine.book@vch.ca

If you have yarn or fabric you would like to donate to the cause, contact elaine.book@vch.ca