By Natalie Iogha
Get to know the Premmie Knitting Club
Courtney Bennett runs Premmie Knitting Club – a village of good sorts knitting for neonatal intensive care units (NICU) in both New Zealand and Australia. She’s always been keen to give back to NICU and preemie causes since the doctors and nurses in NICU saved her life 30 years ago when she was born more than three months early.
The Premmie Knitting Club began in 2016 when a colleague at the time suggested Courtney organise a group of knitters, and the rest is history! Last year the group donated over 2,500 preemie knits to NICU.
Premmie Knitting Club started with Courtney’s friends and family knitting, but she quickly realised there was a much wider group of people willing to help. Some wanted a cause to knit for while others also had a personal connection to NICU.
In 2018, Premmie Knitting Club received national media coverage in New Zealand on Newshub, which really helped to spread the message and drive some amazing support from people across the country and the world. Knitters came forth from Spain, Scotland and the UK!
“Everything like the beanies, the support, the staff, it all makes a huge difference,” said Keaton Gregory, mother of a premature baby.
Natalie developed a knitting kit specifically for premature NICU babies, with a portion of each sale going to the Well Foundation Specialist Care Baby Unit or SCBU.
The kits have proved really popular with the Premmie Knitting Club tribe; people love the fact that everything you need is included and the kits are perfect for beginners and experienced knitters alike.
Courtney is now based in Sydney but continues to operate the club, with her mum, Michelle, helping to coordinate donations in New Zealand. She has big ambitions for Premmie Knitting Club, like expanding the network of knitters and providing ongoing resources for knitters to continue their beautiful and generous work. She is so grateful to everyone who knits – to Courtney that’s the hard work while organising the club and coordinating donations is the easy part!
How to get involved
- Knit for NICU: Are you a knitter or do you know someone who knits? Use your own stuff or buy a KidSet knitting kit, an original and creative business that provides knitters with everything they need to make items to be donated back to the Premmie Knitting Club.
- Donate to NICU: If you aren’t interested in learning to knit but want to support the cause, you can donate via Givealittle.
- Buy some merch: PKC T-shirts, with $10 from each sale going to the NICU. Buy your merch here.
- Follow PKC on social media – Facebook and Instagram.