VOLUNTEERS are urgently needed to take on a successful York project that provides knitted goods to premature babies and people with dementia.

Maker's Dozen was set up by Lucy Hart in 2012 to encourage people to knit hats, cardis and blankets for babies at York Hospital. Today, a dedicated team of knitters also provide comforting items for premature babies and dementia sufferers.

Lucy, from Rawcliffe, launched the venture to give something back following the birth of her son Aston, eight years ago. She was one of The Press's Community Pride finalists in 2015.

She said: "My little boy wasn't breathing when he was born and had to go into special care. They gave him a hat and a blanket. It was a short stay and there was no drama, but I noticed that York really needed these donations for babies."

She called the group Maker's Dozen because she wanted knitters to make and send more than one item at a time. Items are sent to her house and also to drop-off points.

The scheme has been a runaway success and Lucy, who works four days a week, says it is time to hand over the reigns to a new organiser.

She said: "It's grown so much, it's got a bit out of hand!" Lucy's spare room is now full of items, which include knitted octopuses for premature babies and "twiddle muffs" with buttons attached which act as a comfort aid for people with dementia.

York hospital no longer needs so many donations, so Lucy now has to ring hospitals elsewhere and send items there – often at her own expense because she has not had time to fundraise.

She is looking for a volunteer or group to take over the complete running of Maker's Dozen. Responsibilities will include: receiving donated items, sorting them into type/size, washing them where necessary; finding out which hospitals/organisations are in need of things; arranging distribution; storage of donations; collection of goods from various drop-off points, and running the Facebook page @YorkMakersDozen.

She said: "I would love someone to take it over. It would be a shame for it to stop. There are lots of ladies out there knitting for us, and they love to knit."

To find out more, ring Lucy on 07957 501012.