Keen knitter raises 'tremendous' funds with Remembrance Day poppies

Evelyn Steward with Liz Cotton at Park View Care Home in Ipswich

Evelyn Steward with Liz Cotton and the knitted poppies they both had a hand in creating - Credit: Ashton Wiles

An 86-year-old from Ipswich has raised more than £160 for the British Legion with her hand-knitted poppies. 

Evelyn Steward, a resident at Park View Care Home, has kept herself busy knitting more than 100 poppies to be sold to raise money this Remembrance Day.

Evelyn, who is known as Eve, was born in Ipswich and worked at a wool shop on Northgate Street for nearly 30 years.

Ashton Wiles, head of wellbeing at Park View, said: "Eve was quite poorly when she arrived, having been undergoing treatment for cancer. She wasn't walking and stayed in bed all of the time - but she's a lot more active now. 

"She can do almost everything for herself, is very involved in our craft sessions and is making a lot of people very happy."

Evelyn Steward and her husband on their wedding day in Ipswich

Evelyn Steward and her husband Derek on their wedding day - Credit: Family

Eve said: "I hadn't knitted for two or three years, maybe even more, but I needed something to do. 

"Liz Cotton, who works in our hospitality department, encouraged me to get back into knitting and she also gave me the pattern for the poppies. 

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"It takes me about an hour to make one, but I'll then need to tidy it up a little. 

"I don't know how many I've made - I couldn't count. I'm told I did about 40 in a week. 

"My three daughters are very happy I'm back into knitting and crochet, though I don't make them anything - they can do it themselves." 

The poppies were shared on social media and popular with relatives of Park View residents when they came to visit. 

Eve also made 20 headbands with poppy adornments and sold those - raising around £165 in total.

Park View Care staff mark Remembrance Day with Evelyn's poppies

Evelyn Steward with some of the Park View care staff who bought the knitted poppies - Credit: Ashton Wiles

The 86-year-old is now making Christmas decorations which will be sold to raise money for a charity that supports people with stomas, as Eve has one herself. 

"It's good to raise money; it's a tremendous feeling when you can help and give to others. And I'm thankful to everyone who has helped me with wool or patterns or buying a poppy." 

But even though her activity levels might have increased since joining Park View, she batted away a suggestion from care staff that her next fundraiser could be a skydive: "No, no way, not for me. I couldn't even think about it." 

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