Ellen knits up a storm to help Rotherham’s looked after children

Published Wednesday, 22nd May 2019
Ellen knits up a storm to help Rotherham’s looked after children
Ellen with her creations

Kind-hearted resident Ellen Royston helped kick-start the borough’s Foster Care Fortnight activities by donating her handmade blankets to local foster carers.

Maltby-born Ellen, has been crocheting and knitting beautiful handmade blankets to help comfort children and young people for the past 22 years.

Ellen is an area coordinator for Project Linus – a volunteer organisation who aim to provide security to poorly or fostered children through the comfort of homemade patchwork quilts.

Since she started working with Linus back in 2007, Ellen has made over 2,200 comforters for Rotherham’s children and young people in need, with many of her creations donated to children’s hospital wards and local refuges.

Ellen joined local foster carers for a very special Knit and Natter session as part of Rotherham Council’s Foster Care Fortnight celebrations.

Foster carers attended the session at Riverside Library to have a go at their own creations, under the watchful eye of Ellen who was able to provide her expert help and advice before surprising those there with a ready-made blanket to take away.

Ellen said: “I started making the blankets to help local children who were ill, but this quickly expanding to helping any child who needs comfort.

“The foster carers do a wonderful job of helping Rotherham’s most vulnerable children. I hope the blankets I’ve made help provide a feeling of security and home at a time when they need it the most”.

Jon Stonehouse, Strategic Director for Children and Young People’s Services at Rotherham Council said: “Foster care changes futures. Fostering has the potential to be life-changing for Rotherham children and young people. If anyone believes they have the relevant skills and experience, we're calling on them to consider becoming foster carers so that you can also change a future.

“Foster carers provide a secure and nurturing environment for children and young people who cannot – for whatever reason – live with their parents. They help those children to be safe, cared for, happy and healthy.

“We have foster carers from all walks of life, all ages, sexualities, faiths and ethnicities and it does not matter if you own or rent your home, have your own children or not.

“Foster carers must simply be able to offer the time, commitment, space and skills to care for children that are separated from their own families.”

A full training and support package is put in place for all foster carers and they are paid a competitive weekly allowance.

Anyone interested in offering a caring home to children who need it most can get in touch with the council's fostering service via www.rotherham.gov.uk/fostering or phone 01709 823976.