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Nan gives it socks for charity

October 29th, 2021 7:05 AM

By Jackie Keogh

Nan Crowley with her daughter Karen Keohane and Ray O’Callaghan, manager, Down Syndrome Cork. (Photo: Anne Minihane)

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SKIBBEREEN octogenarian Nan Crowley has used lockdown to knit socks which resemble the 39th chromosome as a fundraiser for Down Syndrome Ireland.

‘October is awareness month for Down Syndrome Ireland,’ said Karen Keohane, who has been helping her mother knit the socks, which will be sold in many shops throughout West Cork, including Costcutter’s at Market Street, Skibbereen.

‘The little socks resemble the extra chromosome that these children have,’ said Karen, who confirmed they have made 1,000 socks since March 2020.

‘It took her right through the lockdown last year,’ said Karen. ‘Every night she was knitting, sometimes as many as a dozen in a single sitting.’  

‘It made me feel very good,’ Nan told The Southern Star. ‘It passed away the time for me. It was good to be doing something for others. The only problem is that when I started, I couldn’t stop!’

All of the money raised from the sale of each of the colourful €3 socks will be used for the provision of services at Down Syndrome Cork.

‘In addition to being a fundraiser,’ Karen said, ‘the making of the socks, the sale of them, and hopefully the wearing of them as broaches, will raise awareness for this amazing charity.’

Ray O’Callaghan, chairperson of Down Syndrome Cork, said Down Syndrome is a lifelong condition and Down Syndrome Cork provides services for people from one day old and upwards, helping everyone to develop to their full potential.

‘The services,’ he added, ‘include speech, occupational and physical therapy. 

‘There are drama and music classes too, as well as summer camps.’ 

An adult service called Field of Dreams is also available to people who are 20 years, or older, and all of the service users are mentored and are found suitable employment.

‘We are unbelievably grateful to Nan for turning such a negative year into a positive one, and for choosing our charity,’ said Ray.

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