Debbie Ventham has worked as a Marie Curie Nurse since 2003, looking after terminally ill people in their own homes, and delighting patients with her cakes. But these cakes aren’t just any treats – they are knitted and look good enough to eat!
“I started knitting about six years ago, when my son and his wife were expecting twins. I knit cupcakes, Bakewell tarts, Swiss rolls, chocolates, sweets, toys, tea cosies, blankets and, of course, clothes for my grandchildren. I find knitting relaxing and therapeutic, and its something quiet you can do while looking after a patient. You can put it down and come back to it. I’ve even been given wool by patients who have said that they won’t be able to use it themselves.
One Christmas, I was looking after a family
whose mother was at the end of life. I was knitting cupcakes and the patient’s daughter asked me if I was knitting a Christmas pudding because her mother had been watching me knit. In the end I created a giant Christmas pudding just for her with brown yarn, and white for the icing. I even knitted some holly to go on top. The mother had lost her appetite, as most people do when they’re at that stage, and so she kept my knitted pudding beside her bed.
It makes me so proud to be a Marie Curie Nurse, providing support and care to terminally ill people. And I also get to take part in some lovely fundraising events. The Blooming Great Tea Party is just one of them. It’s a great reason to get together, have a cuppa, and for me to get knitting. Go on - try some of my patterns and see what treats you can knit.”