Knitters from Hale to America have made more than 10,000 mice to raise money for Alzheimer’s Society and set a world record.
The craze, which was spearheaded by Libby Swindells in February, aimed to create a ‘Mile of Mice‘. She started it as a project for a knitting group – Nimble Fingers – that she set up at Wellgreen Lodge, an independent living scheme she manages in Hale, Trafford.
But since appealing for knitters to join in through the Manchester Evening News and Facebook she has been inundated with mice sent from all over the country and further afield including the USA, Canada, Denmark and France with mice as diverse as Harry Potter and Rastamouse.
Now the knitters have come together for a measure day at Altrincham Football Club on Wednesday, October 30, where the mice were joined from nose to tail in an attempt to become a Guinness World Record.
The mice, which have so far raised more than £7,000 for Alzheimer’s Society, have to travel four and three quarter times around the pitch to equal a one mile.
Libby, 56, who works for Trafford Housing Trust, said:
‘At first I thought it was a stupid idea and I had bitten off more than I could chew but I am blown away by everyone’s hard work.
‘We have had mice from so many different places, London, Doncaster, Nottingham, the USA, Denmark, France and Canada to name a just few. I got really excited when I opened up the different boxes! There has been Rastamouse, Danger Mouse, Angelina Ballerina, wedding parties, numerous three blind mice, Harry Potter characters and someone has even knitted a piped piper!
‘I think the thing that has touched me most is when I get some mice sent from people who are caring for someone living with dementia but they still manage to find the time to knit 150 mice!
‘I would like to thank everyone that has been involved, I really didn’t think that it would explode in the way that it did. The poor postman has been making so many deliveries. We have also had support from Travis Perkins, Altrincham Football Club, HobbyCraft and Trafford Housing Trust. And of course all those people who have sent the wonderful mice, donated money or both – we are grateful for it all!
‘The Nimble Fingers knitting group chose Alzheimer’s Society as a lot of them have been touched by the disease through family members and friends. It is a very important cause and any awareness it has raised through this appeal is fantastic.
‘Money is still coming in for the Mile of Mice and we hope to sell them on the measure day for 50p as well.’
Belle Vue coaches transported residents from Wellgreen Lodge to the football club along with the mice. All of the knitters involved have been invited to the event along with the Mayor of Trafford – Councillor Dylan Butt.
Aimee Clare, Community Fundraiser for Alzheimer’s Society in the North West, said:
‘It is wonderful that so many people have got involved in the project for the society. There have been some fantastic mice and the amount of interest and money that it has raised is amazing. It has not only boosted funds for the charity but helped raised awareness of dementia. We would like to thank Libby for spearheading the idea and her enthusiasm that has rubbed off on people across the country and beyond.’
Donations to the Mile of Mice appeal for Alzheimer’s Society can still be given at www.justgiving.co.uk/mileofmice