There’s been an amazingly generous response to the appeal two months ago for people to knit bobble hats for newborn babies at the RUH Bath Birthing Centre. Since then the centre has been sent thousands of them – but they still need more.

The bobble hats have a colour-coded system of green, amber and red pom-poms to help ensure that babies receive the individual care they need. The appeal certainly caught the public imagination and the Bath Birthing Centre’s ante and postnatal Mary Ward has been inundated with gifts from all over the world.

Knitters aged from 9 to 94 have got involved with hats being sent from 159 different locations and from countries including America, Portugal, Spain, UK and Ireland. The maternity team is keeping track of every parcel they receive by adding it to mapcustomizer.com.

But with 5,000 babies a year being born at the RUH there’s a never-ending demand for knitting aid. Rachel Coleman, Practice Development Sister, explained, “We have been overwhelmed by the number of people from around the world who’ve taken the time to get knitting. The response has been incredible – every spare space we had is now filled with bags of hats. We can’t reply to everyone personally, but a big thank you to everyone who’s sent us hats.

“Babies will still receive traditional midwifery care, but this is an extra visual aid. A green bobble means your baby is term, warm and feeding well. Amber indicates a baby needs a little more help with feeding and keeping warm. Red indicates a baby will have regular observations by a nurse or midwife. The hats will make a real difference in further improving the quality of care we provide and we are extremely grateful for every hat donated.”

If you would like to join the knitting brigade, you can follow the pattern here and send your hats to The Bath Birthing Centre, Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust, Combe Park, Bath BA1 3NG.