Twiddle muffs distributed to Richmondshire residents affected by dementia

A support group has been working with voluntary and community organisations across Richmondshire to distribute brightly-coloured twiddle muffs to people whose lives have been affected by dementia.

For people living with dementia, as their condition progresses they become less able to recognise familiar faces and locations and this can make them increasingly anxious and agitated.

By providing a source of visual and sensory stimulation, the twiddle muffs can help to calm and comfort them.

County councillor Caroline Dickinson, North Yorkshire’s executive member for public health, prevention and supported housing, said: “A twiddle muff is a brightly-coloured hand muff with various accessories such as ribbons and buttons sewn on both the inside and outside of the muff. They can be knitted, crocheted or made from textured fabric.

“The Dementia Friendly Richmondshire Group has been encouraging people to get involved and make the muffs and these have now been distributed to local voluntary and community organisations in the area, including The Bridge, Catterick Garrison.

“The Bridge provides adult day care through its Monday, Wednesday and Friday Club, and also offers support from Making Space, a national charity providing health and social care services for adults with mental health conditions, learning disabilities and dementia and their carers.”

Leader of Richmondshire District Council, Councillor Yvonne Peacock, added: “Across Richmondshire the number of patients aged 65-plus recorded with dementia stands at 4.38 per cent, with some notable hotspots, so we are presented with a situation where as a district we are one of the worst suffering areas in the country.

“If you could help by getting involved in making more of the muffs – and have some fun in the process – Dementia Friendly Richmondshire has free copies of patterns available on request. Completed twiddle muffs can be dropped off at our Mercury House office, Station Road, Richmond, and the group will donate them to any person or group that asks for one.”

For further information about how to get involved and support the group contact Jo-Anne Simpson, Richmondshire District Council’s culture and wellbeing delivery manager at