Calling all great knits

Stoke Mandeville Spinal Research and the National Spinal Injuries Centre (NSIC) are inviting people to join their Knit a Neuron challenge and have the opportunity to have their work displayed in December.

Launching on Thursday 28th June between 2pm and 4pm in the foyer of the centre, Knit a Neuron challenges locals to create their own neurons – the special cells that carry messages around the system – and send them in to create a supersized craft spinal cord that will be displayed in the NSIC at the end of the year.

The health benefits of crafts like knitting and crochet include helping with pain, depression and stress to helping with conditions such as dementia. Joining a local group or getting together with friends and family to create your own neuron designs can be fun socially while giving your brain a workout, say organisers.

Charlotte Minoprio, SMSR Knit a Neuron lead, said: ‘Knit a Neuron is a great activity that encourages awareness about neurons and the spinal cord. We’d love for the local community to get involved and send in their completed neurons for us to display.’

For those with a spinal cord injury, knitting can also help with rehabilitation. Dr Allison Graham, NSIC Consultant Physician Spinal Cord Injury; Clinical Lead Spinal Paediatrics, explained: ‘Knitting is more than making jumpers – knitting is neuroscience. Activity-based rehabilitation needs to be bilateral, co-ordinated, cross the brain and spinal cord midline, be rhythmic and become automatic and this is exactly what knitting does. We don’t know if it will change the spinal cord, but it will improve relaxation, a sense of achievement and belonging, while being fun to do.’


Knit A Neuron packs can be downloaded that will contain patterns for you to create your own neurons. Visit or email [email protected] or Tel: 01296 315255 to find out more.

Send your completed neurons BY November 23rd to: Charlotte Minoprio (SMSR) at the National Spinal Injuries Centre, Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Aylesbury, Bucks HP21 8AL. Share your pictures with them on Twitter @lifeafterpara or post them: