Volunteering for The Friends of the Rosie

Make a contribution of some of your time for your loved one this year


▪️ All other visiting will stop – this is to include all inpatient areas, including the Antenatal and postnatal ward.The Rosie Hospital Facebook Page

We are in urgent need of some volunteers who can manage ie organise, set up and run our stalls at Addenbrooke´s hospital. We have a supply of our wares stored in a cupboard in the Rosie Hospital. We have a trolley for transporting to the outlet. What we need is a reasonably able-bodied person to wield a trolley. If you can manage a full supermarket trolley you can wield our trolley through the bowels of Addenbrooke´s. We have been using a two-table site at the Outpatients entrance once or twice a month and a one-table site at the entrance to the Food Court once a month. It would be really good if we could maintain our established pitches on these two sites.

It is only essential that we open at the Outpatient´s entrance three times a year, probably towards the ends of Februrary, May and November. Any more dates would be a bonus and the months where there is a stall in Outpatient´s there would not need to be a stall in the Food Court.

It is immensely rewarding work. The patients who spend some time browsing through the display and chatting with you about their children, grandchildren and even great grandchildren will lift your spirits no end. They all have a tale to tell about the time they made a particular garment, or how their Grandma made them.

The little children who approach to study intricately all the toys one by one practising their nouns and adjectives are all delightful and it is so nice to be able to reward their politeness when the television news is full of such rudeness.

What´s more, every pound you raise will go towards the cost of medical equipment that Addenbrooke´s does not provide.

If you can improve our website, provide transport for our volunteers or display a small selection of our wares please contact us

We have a vacancy for a volunteer to open the Tea Bar at the Rosie Hospital outpatients department on a Monday and a Thursday. You will be required to make and sell hot drinks, sell snacks and cold drinks and promote our Rosie in Stitches garments available for sale at the Tea Bar and forthcoming stalls. At the end of the clinic you will be required to lock the snacks away in the cupboards, empty and clean the coffee machine, wash up, clean and tidy the tea bar ready for the Tuesday morning volunteer. You will be given instructions on how to work the coffee machine and secure the Tea Bar.

Are you able to provide transport for our volunteers? If so, then do get in touch with one of our committee members.

We would welcome your donations of wool, stuffing, ribbons, lace, felt, as well as comments on our service, please email contact@rosieinstitches.org.uk.

What the Friends have achieved

Visitors to the hospital cannot fail to be made aware of the generosity, hard work and dedication of the Friends. The evidence is there, in every ward and department.

Modern technology is very expensive. With the ever-increasing numbers of mothers from an ever-widening area, there is always a need for more of the essential monitoring equipment.

We are, of course, interested in the comfort of all Rosie maternity patients at Addenbrooke’s, and we supply any specially designed items of furniture that will make life more pleasant, as well as refurbishing wards and lecture rooms when necessary.

In the community we supply midwives with vital, state-of-the-art, medical equipment so that they can communicate easily with patients and the hospital.

How you can help

What the Friends need most are time and money.

We urgently need volunteers to manage our stalls at Addenbrooke¨s hospital.

We always need help in the Tea Bar for a few hours a week or on an occasional basis.

We always need drivers to transport our volunteers to events.

You could organise a sponsored event or any other fund-raiser for us.

If you would like to become a Friend and can spare a few hours a week or even a few hours a year, maybe you can make something we could sell, or simply wish to make a donation, the Friends of the Rosie would be happy to hear from you.

Leave a comment below and one of the members of the committee will contact you.


  1. I would love to knit for your hospital. Could you advise what type of items are required as I’d like to make the most useful things for you. Who should the finished items be left with or sent to. I can drop them in when finished. Thanks

  2. Do you need any traffic light hats ?

    • Not at the moment
      The Hospital would like canular mittens though

      • Hello I have some canular gloves that my mum has knitted and she’s knitting more…. Could you please let me know whee to send them… Many thanks

        • Thank you for your enquiry. Unfortunately, during this pandemic, The Rosie are not accepting knitted goods at the moment. If you have space to store them until The Rosie is accepting donatios again, please do so. Keep watching our website and Facebook page for further updates.

  3. Hello,
    Do addenbrookes use the crocheted octopuses for their babies in NICU?

    • Unfortunately, as far as we are aware, The Rosie Hospital does not use the octopusses. However, they are one of the top sellers by Rosie in Stitches. The money from the sale of these toys pays for medical equipment that the NHS does not buy.

  4. I took my latest traffic light hats into The Rosie Hospital and was advised that they have enough for now.

    They would now like mittens with longer cuffs to cover the canular.

    Happy knitting during the Christmas break.

  5. I am looking to knit the traffic light hats but I cannot find the pattern. Please, can you advise on this?

    • Christine boughtwood

      I am happy to knit or crochet any items needed. Could I have a pattern for anything you want at the moment. Thank you.

      • Thank you for your enquiry. Unfortunately, during this pandemic, The Rosie are not accepting knitted goods at the moment. If you have an eBay or Amazon account you can always put items for sale on there and donate via the charity button direct to The Friends of the Rosie Hospital. Keep watching our website and Facebook page for further updates.

  6. Hello! I would love to help and send in some crocheted hats, could you let me know what you need and where to send them 🙂

  7. I would like to start doing some knitting for you and wondered if there is anything that you’d specifically like at the moment? Are there any specific patterns and colours that should be used? Also, once completed, where should the items be taken or sent to?

    • Thank you for choosing our charity for your knitting projects.
      If you read through the other comments on this page you will see the most recent requests from the hospital.
      It is best to use machine washable yarn. Any colours and patterns are fine.
      The bonding squares and cannular mittens are ideal for finishing off oddments.
      Completed items can be left with the tea bar ladies in Clinic 21 at the Rosie Maternity Hospital.

      • I am looking to find something for an elderly lady whose assisted living complex is about t go into shutdown.
        What items would you particularly like & where will I find the patterns?

        • Dear Julie
          The easiest suggestion to make is for your resident to make are the bonding squares which are up to 6″ square and the blankets which are 1ftx2ft.
          These items can be delivered to the warm baby project at The Rosie Hospital, Cambridge, CB2 2SW

    • Hats for babies are needed, traffic light ones.

    • There are no special patterns for donated knitting. The yarn to use must be machine washable. The different requests from staff have specific colour specifications. If you continue reading the comments below, you will see lots of requests for knitted items along with the names snd addresses for the hospital staff who have requested them.

  8. Hello, what do you need knitting or crocheting for premmie babies at present? Blankets, tiny hats, bonding squares? thanks

  9. Are there any items of crochet or knitting that you need at the moment?

    • The Rosie Hospital are always wanting blankets and bonding squares. They have 500 deliveries a month and the blankets and bonding squares go home with the babies.

      The bonding squares can be any size from 6cm squares to 15cm squares

      The best size for the blankets is 40cm x 55cm for the NICU bedside cots

      These can be made in any colour and any yarn.

      Donations can be left with the reception marked clearly for the attention of Paula Pierce and NICU

  10. Do you still need blankets and granny squares? And if so please let me know what size, colours etc. And anything else you currently need. I have some spare wool I would like to use up and can crochet. Thanks so much

  11. Rebecca Louise Doyle

    I have a lot of spare wool I’d like to knit and send off to you. What things are you in need of id be more than happy to send a bunch of things over to you.
    Look forward to hearing from you! 🙂

  12. Hi. Can I crochet you some blankets? What size is needed? Do the blankets go home with the babies or stay at the Rosie? Thanks

  13. Another suggestion for volunteer crafters from the Bereavement Team :
    We always welcome plain hats, blankets and wraps in neutral colours (white, yellow, cream, pastel green and lilac) of varying sizes from tiny to term. We prefer to avoid pink and blue, especially for the smaller items as we often cannot confirm the sex of the baby.

    If you do have any donations of these kind you can mark them for Selina Halsall and Janet Latimer, who are the bereavement midwives here at the Rosie.

    Thank you very much for your donations

  14. I would like to knit some hats for the Rosie. where can I find the pattern instructions please ?

    • Thank you for your enquiry, we hope the following will help.

      The number of stitches and rows will depend on your tension and yarn weight.
      If you have a pattern already for a small baby beanie hat, follow that in red, yellow or green.
      What matters for the babies is that the red and yellow hats are about head circumference between 32cm and 38cm around, the green hats, for the larger babies need to be 34cm to 38cm around.
      It is only vital that the top of the hat is red, yellow or green. The rest of the hat can be any colour that you have spare in your stash.

      A DK hat I have here for the largest size is 90 stitches with 16 rows of k1,p1 rib, then 12 rows of St St, change colour and st st 6 rows. Decrease for the crown (k5, k2tog) to the end of the row, purl 1 row, (k3, k2tog) to the end of the row, purl 1 row, (k1, k2tog) to the end of the row. Thread the end through the remaining stitches and pull up tight.

  15. Can I just check if NICU received the crochet baby clothes and blankets which I left at the desk in the Birth Centre the Sunday before last? I would like to know which items were most useful so I know what to concentrate on when I make more.I left a note in the bag but I have not heard anything.

    Many thanks

  16. Hello! I’ve harvested lots of knitting ideas from this thread thank you. Could you please just let me know the ideal measurements for bonding squares? I might be able to make some of these up along with some mittens. Is there a pattern for the mittens that is suggested?

  17. Thank you for the continuing supply of traffic light hats for babies, at the moment we have good stocks of all colours but as we are giving them out to babies we will need more so a mix of colours is great. In general the smaller babies will need orange or red hats so we don’t really need smaller (approx. 30cm diameter) green hats.

    If anyone is getting tired of knitting hats the ward has asked for some blankets and cardigans – these do not need to be traffic light colours!

    Thank you very much for your support, it is very much appreciated.

    Best wishes,

    Rebecca Anderson
    Professional Midwifery Advocate
    Rosie Maternity Hospital
    Tel: 01223 348271 bleep 159226

  18. I have made blankets, hats and bonding squares before for the tiny babies at the Rosie.
    I am making more blankets, hats and mittens that I will send and I can also do some small “bonding” bears if they would be welcomed?
    Also, could you let me know if you would like larger baby items?

    • If you would like to make larger items. Rosie in Stitches can sell them on this website and our stalls around the county. The styles and sizes we always run out of are for boys, chest sizes 14″, 16″ and 18″ (especially if the knitters have taken the trouble to knit the button bands on cardigans on the correct side for boys)

      Please leave donations marked for the attention of Avril Williams at the Friends of the Rosie Tea Bar in Clinic 21 at the Rosie Hospital.

      Many thanks for your donations and support

  19. Please can you email me details of what baby items are needed on the wards at the moment and where I should drop them off.Many thanks.

  20. I do lots of knitting for the Rosie already but have just seen this about volunteering to help out . I am very interested to help. I wold do either shop or anything that is needed.

  21. Hello!
    I have a baby girl of 6 weeks old.
    I need some woollens for her to beat this cold,
    I have gone through your site and happy to see knitters here.
    I don’t know whom to contact.
    So, I request to knit 6 sweaters along with mittens,
    Hats, Boots for my baby.
    Please let me know the exact details whom to contact.

    Thank you so much,
    Have a great day.

  22. Do you still need any blankets for prem babies or anything else

    • The Rosie Hospital will always accept blankets. The best blanket size is 40cm x 55cm for the NICU bedside cots. Please read the other comments on this page for details of traffic light hats, bonding squares and canular mittens that are also always required.

  23. Kate Grimley Evans

    I like to crochet. Do you still need red amber and green baby hats? What about hats in other colours. Do you need anything else like cardigans or blankets? What are the rules? E.g. should holes in baby blankets be avoided?

    • Thank you for your enquiry.
      As far as we are aware red, amber and green hats are still required by the hospital.
      The wards were also in need of premature cardigans in July.
      Finger catching holes are best avoided in your crochet work.

  24. Hello,

    I know that you have some fantastic knitters who sometimes make bits and pieces for the Rosie. We are working on ways to identify which babies need closer observations and are planning to use a traffic light system of rating babies red, amber or green. One way of helping to identify which baby is in which category is to use different coloured hats. So we would be really pleased if your knitters could work on making red, amber and green hats! The hats can be all one colour, stripy, with or without bobbles, as long as they are obviously red, orange or green as the main colour.

    Any shade of green and yellow or orange, as long as you can look at the hat and tell which category that baby is in (so red and green stripes would not work!)
    We are looking to build up plenty of hats in all colours, my initial calculations show we could get through 250 green hats and 150 of both red and orange each month, so as many as possible!

    In terms of sizes we are wanting hats for full term newborn babies, so head circumference between 32cm and 38cm would be about right, or between orange and grapefruit size.

    Thank you so much for your help, we really appreciate it.

    Best wishes,

    Rebecca Anderson
    Trainee Professional Midwifery Advocate
    Rosie Maternity Hospital

  25. What is the optimum size of knitted blanket needed for NICU prem cots? What else would be useful; I’ve lots of knitting yarn to use up.

    • Rosie in Stitches

      Hi Jean
      The best blanket size is 40cm x 55cm for the NICU bedside cots.
      Some of the other uses for small amounts of yarn are:
      Extra long mittens to cover the canulars
      Small granny squares (cuddlies) for NICU to put into their expressing packs that are given to the mother’s on admission
      Breasts for the breastfeeding counsellors (pattern available by email to:

  26. Hi. Do the Rosie still want bonding squares for the prem babies? We are a local W.I. Group who are looking for a charity/good cause to knit and crochet things for. Many thanks

    • Rosie in Stitches

      I have asked the Rosie Hospital staff, and I am waiting for their reply

    • Rosie in Stitches

      Confirmation has just been received from The Rosie Hospital that the cuddlies (bonding squares) are still wanted.

      “We put them in our expressing packs that are given to the mother’s on admission.
      I can honestly tell you what a wonderful treasure they are! They enable the mother to feel that she is actively helping her baby.

      Very many thanks to all of your wonderful ladies, who really are making a huge difference to these families.
      Very many thanks
      Kindest regards
      Paula – NICU Feeding Lead”

  27. Hi
    Please can you tell me if you are still wanting knitted blankets?

    • Angela
      Thank you for your enquiry.
      Rosie in Stitches are alright at present for stocks of blankets for sale on our stalls. If you enjoy making toys, boys cardigans or girls dresses then do take a look at what we have for sale for ideas for future projects for further items to donate.
      The Rosie Hospital, however, will always accept blankets for use on the wards. Please arrange for them to be donated at the reception desk at the Main Entrance.

    • You are cordially invited to our 2018 AGM on Monday March 5th. Sandwiches will be served from 12.30pm and the meeting will start at about 12.45 in the Green Room in the Rosie Birthing Centre

  28. Could you tell me if the mittens can have ribbon in them to tie them if not what do you use thank you

  29. I used to make items for you many years ago when my grandson, now 20 was born. Most of the messages above are rather old. Do you require blankets and items for the ward and for sale to be made using double knitting or four ply? Do you have any requirement for blankets/items for stillborn babies?

    • Thank you for looking at our website and considering our charity for your donation of knitting.
      The comments above are still current about cardigans and blankets for the wards. These items can be delivered to the main Rosie receptionist to pass on to the wards.
      At our Rosie in Stitches stalls outlets we find our biggest sellers are small toys up to 7″ tall with limbs which small hands can grab and hold on to. We use CE approved polyester toy filling and no choking hazard buttons/beads. Toys need to be handed over to one of our ladies on the Tea Bar in clinic 21 the Outpatient’s clinic.
      We have a stall at the Addenbrooke’s outpatient department on 8th December between 10 and 4 if you want to have a look at what we stock and sell.

  30. We are a group of ladies who meet once a week to knit/crotchet for charity and having made numerous blankets and ‘twiddlemuffs’ for dementia patients have expressed a wish to make knitted outfits for premature or babies ‘born sleeping’. It seems as if there has been no activity on here since 2015? I know some of us would also be interested in helping you out once a month on the wards.

    • Rosie in Stitches

      I will forward your interest in volunteering on the wards to the The Rosie Hospital.
      Rosie in Stitches sells knitted items of clothes and toys to raise money to buy medical equipment for the wards. We also supply small knitted items to the wards for the babies to use while they are inpatients.
      Popular items for the wards are small cardigans 10″ circumference around the chest, small blankets 40cm x 55cm to use in the cots and long mittens for wearing over the top of the canulars.
      Many thanks for finding out about our charity and logging on to our website. We hope we have given your group some ideas for other things to make at your knitting group. Happy knitting.

  31. Hello there, have read the above, but wonder do you ever need tiny hats for babies at Addenbrookes?

    • Rosie in Stitches

      Addenbrooke’s do accept tiny hats. You can leave them with the receptionist labelled “for use on the wards”

  32. Tricia Covington

    Would you like someone to do some knitting for the prem babies? If so what do you require? I have someone who just loves knitting but dosent know what to knit or where to send it ?

  33. I would like to help fund raise. I am able to knit blankets or anything you need. Please let me know sizes & what is your best sellers.

    • Our biggest sellers are small toys up to 7″ tall with limbs which small hands can grab and hold on to. We use CE approved polyester toy filling and no choking hazard buttons/beads. The hospital wards always need small blankets for the incubators and mittens for protecting the canulars in the baby hands. Blankets can be 34cmx46cm and larger, mittens are 12cm long and can be in any oddments of colours. Get in touch when you have something knitted up for collection or delivery. Happy Knitting.

      • Is wool better than soft cotton material for mittens & how wide do they have to be if they are 12cm long?

        • It doesn’t matter whether you use wool or cotton. The mittens are 5cm wide (10cm in circumference) at the ribbed cuff and 7cm wide (14cm in circumference) at the widest point.

  34. Hi I’d like to knit to help you fundraise, what items are most in demand?

    • Our most popular items are small toys about 7″ tall maximum. Just the right size for small hands to grip a limb tightly for comfort. We have donated patterns, needles, yarns, stuffing, buttons and trimmings. We meet every other month and our next meeting will be in March where we share our stash and admire each other’s work. If you need anything before March let me know.

  35. Because of the nature of babywear, we use machine washable yarns. Any toy creature sells provided it is no bigger than 7″ tall and to meet with CE standards has the correct polyester toy filling. We have a lot of buttons in our stash so cardigans will help to reduce our stash. Boy styles fastening for a boy are always in demand. The most useful blanket sizes are 40cm x 50cm up to 70cm x 90cm. Looking forward to seeing what you make for us. Happy knitting.

  36. Do I need to use a special wool I am happy to knit gloves boots hats and cardigans. Would need to know the size of blankets and weight of wool.

  37. I would like to knit for prem baby unit at Rosie/Addenbrookes please can you tell me off there are any yarns I should avoid and wich garments or toys you would like.

  38. I am interested in learning more about volunteering to help run the stalls which fundraise for the Rosie. My last grandson weighed only 2lb 13ozs when he was born at The Rosie and was in both Neonatal and SCBU and our family are all extremely grateful for the wonderful care he received – he is now a lovely, bright, 2 year old little boy.

    I look forward to hearing from you with more information.

    • Thank you for your kind words and interest in volunteering. Looking forward to meeting you and working with you fundraising for The Rosie Hospital.

  39. Mrs Lesley Cross

    I manage a sheltered housing scheme and some of my tenants would like to be involved by doing some knitting.
    Can you let us know what garments would be particularly useful to you and is it best to just bring the items along to you once completed.

    Many thanks

    • Thank you for responding to our plea for volunteers.
      “Rosie in Stitches” need trousers, skirts and dresses for babies and children up to age 4. We also have commissions for knitted rabbits. I can supply you with patterns, needles, buttons and toy filling if you require them.
      Alternatively, the premature baby unit at The Rosie will always accept small cot blankets and small hats, mittens and cardigans.
      Donated articles can be delivered to any of the committee addresses, Rosie in Stitches address or the Rosie tea bar. Addresses can be found on the website.

  40. If you need volunteers I’d be happy to help out in the Tea Shop. I’m a Sixth Form student & revising for exams at the moment so couldn’t do too many hours, but I could do a few hours a week!

  41. The Rosie Hospital have replied, “they can always use knitted garments and blankets, in both the neonatal unit and postnatal ward.

    Many thanks”

    So, when you do some knitting take it along to the Rosie Hospital reception and they’ll see that it gets to the neonatal unit or the postnatal ward.

  42. Mrs Hala Grainge

    I am a keen knitter and wondered if you required small baby blankets, hats and mittens for the prem baby unit. I had all sons at the Rosie and would like to help in some way.

  43. I would love to knit some items for you to sell, I particularly like making toys but can turn my hand to most things. Please let me know if there is anything in particular that you would like or that sells better.

    • The toys we sell the most of are the small ones that stand at about 4″ to 7″ tall and can be easily gripped by a toddler. I have sent an email with details of our current needs.

  44. We don’t have any specific pattern for her to follow. Our only recommendation is that she makes cardigans. I’ve sent you an email.

  45. My 87 year old mother needs something to do now that the nights are drawing in. She would feel needed if she could knit some prem baby clothes for you. Do you have any specific patterns that I could pass on to her?

  46. I enjoy knitting, and can knit prem, babies and childrens clothing, blankets and toys. I can also help with stalls, trolleys etc., preferably at the three big events each year.

    • Thank you for your message, I’ll send you an email with some details. The next big stalls are on 29th November and 14th December at Addenbrooke’s outpatients foyer.

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