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Swansea-based Margaret Davies has inspired an army of knitters to make hats for heroes in Afghanistan

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: January 29, 2013

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KEEN knitter Margaret Davies has inspired an army of others to help create hundreds of hats for troops serving in Afghanistan.

The past president of Mumbles Inner Wheel first heard on a radio programme she could put her knitting needles together to make a difference for forces in Helmand Province.

She was inspired by Penarth-based Tina Selby's call for people to come forward to support the good cause.

And Mrs Davies, of Caswell Bay, has gone on to not only encourage her friends to get involved but those further afield.

She said: "After hearing about the lady knitting hats for heroes in Afghanistan I asked my friends to get involved and they were all happy to help.

"I have found that people have been absolutely wonderful.

"I expected to get 50 hats but I have now got 164 hats."

Mrs Davies said thanks to Nikki Day, the owner of Cafe Valance in Mumbles, the project took off after she agreed to allow a notice and knitting patterns for the beanies to be placed there.

She added: "I asked if I could bring some patterns in and leave them behind the bar.

"Holidaymakers would read the notice and asked for the patterns.

"I have had hats from Sheffield and the Cotswolds — it's been amazing.

"I want to thank Nikki Day for advertising the project for me."

She said the knitters were asked to make dark rather than light coloured-hats for when they went out on patrol.

"The soldiers also liked wearing the hats when they were in Camp Bastion," she added.

"At night the troops are cold and they sleep in the hats. I had the idea that people would also want to get involved in the project in Swansea."

She said the double rib pattern hats would stretch to fit any head.

Mrs Davies said the numbers of hats needed in the future could fall with the number of troops in Afghanistan being reduced during the year ahead.

The amount of soldiers serving in Helmand Province is due to fall to 5,200 by the end of 2013.

UK service personnel are due to be withdrawn from the country during 2014.

She said: "At the moment they don't need any more hats because there are soldiers coming home from Afghanistan."

Mrs Davies added: "To all the people I have not been able to speak to personally I wish to thank you for the huge effort you have made in knitting these hats. The result of your kindness and commitment has been overwhelming."

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