TINY hats have been proved to improve the health of newborn babies.

Andy staff and residents of St Catherine’s Care Home have been praised for their generosity, after donating nearly 200 hand-knitted baby hats to Royal Bolton Hospital.

The hats were knitted by residents and their friends and families during the home’s ‘knit and natter’ sessions, which take place every Friday morning.

The group, set up as a means of bringing the elderly residents together and encouraging them to socialise, have been working on the project for the past few months.

Midwives visited St Catherine’s in Queen Street, Horwich, this week to collect donations and thank the residents for their hard work.

The hats will be donated to the hospital’s maternity department, who get through around 450 hats each month.

Evidence shows that placing warm hats on babies’ heads shortly after birth significantly reduces the number of full-term admissions to the neonatal intensive care unit, proving that this simple intervention will improve the health of babies.

Kerry Foster, Home Administrator at St Catherine’s, said the staff are “very proud of all the time and effort the attendees to the group have put in to such a good cause.”

Foster also welcomed the public’s support for the project, inviting locals to attend the sessions or donate money towards wool.

Trish Armstrong-Child, Director of Nursing and Midwifery at Royal Bolton Hospital, said: “It was a privilege for our midwives to be able to visit the home to collect the hats that the group have so kindly knitted for our new-born babies.

“The hats are very much appreciated by the families using our maternity services and we are very grateful for the support of the project.”