Belfast Telegraph

Doreen's mega hat drive is a woolly wonder in Co Antrim town

By Stewart Robson

It's hats off to one Co Antrim woman who has received over 3,000 woolly donations in aid of four different causes.

Doreen Armstrong from Ballymena works in the town's Salvation Army shop.

In tribute to her late father Tommy Donaghy, keen knitter Doreen started the 'Tommy's Hat Appeal' shortly after her father died.

"My dad passed in January at the age of 90," said Doreen.

"When I was young I was used to seeing him with a hat on his head.

"My mother used to knit woolly hats for him because he was always outside working at something.

"I was looking at old photos and realised he was always wearing a hat. The idea really just came from that."

Doreen runs a knitting group called Let's Knit and Crochet Together, whose members have helped with making the hats. Others have donated anonymously.

She said her father was a great supporter of the knitting group which held numerous appeals for charity before.

"The hats can be pre-loved, crocheted, knitted or bought," Doreen added.

"We'll be giving them to the homeless all over Ireland, the Salvation Army and Seafarers as well as to the Road of Hope shoebox appeal."

The shoebox appeal takes much-needed items to children in eastern Europe. Doreen's target is to hit the 5,000-mark by the end of October and said that it's "on track" to be achieved.

Belfast Telegraph

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