Home News The Big Rainbow Knit takes over The Kirkwood

11 Jun 2021 Community

The Big Rainbow Knit takes over The Kirkwood

Passionate about improving the quality of life for people living with a life limiting illness, Elspeth McGloughlin led the way to help spread the word about The Kirkwood by designing a giant K installation made from individually knitted rainbow squares.

Elspeth McGloughlin has been part of The Kirkwood team since 2014, first as a volunteer Occupational Therapist in the Support and Therapy team, to now Occupational Therapy Clinical lead, helping improve the quality of life for patients living with a life limiting illness in Kirklees.

Elspeth supports patients who are admitted onto our In-Patient Unit, along with helping patients who are accessing service with our Support & Therapy Team.


When Elspeth is not making a difference for local people, she is an active member of the crafting community in Kirklees.

So when the opportunity arose for The Kirkwood to partner with The Big Knit back in 2019, Elspeth was delighted to see her two passions join forces. Jumping in feet first, she went above and beyond to support the campaign.

The biennial campaign, organised by WOVEN in Kirklees, is all about celebrating innovation in textiles in Kirklees and The Kirkwood were delighted to get involved once again this year, with the Big Rainbow Knit yarn bombing installation at Huddersfield Railway Station.

Here Elspeth explains her involvement in the project, she says: “I’ve got a background in Textiles so for me, it’s opportunity to use skills I really enjoy. As an Occupational Therapist, I know how valuable engagement in creative and meaningful occupation is. Giving supporters and anyone who wanted to get involved the chance to engage in something meaningful, at a time when opportunity was limited was an opportunity we couldn’t miss. As well as raising awareness and funds for The Kirkwood, it’s really helped with community engagement.

“It’s fantastic to be part of a bigger project across Kirklees and the previous Big Knit we were involved in was really successful. A great aspect of the campaign in 2019 was being able to involve our patients too, we held an event in The Kirkwood Gardens that was accessible to everyone that wanted to be involved.

In their efforts to yarn bomb Huddersfield Railway Station, crafters got to work knitting squares in all colours of the rainbow, with many also choosing to raise funds for The Kirkwood at the same time. The campaign proved so successful that the team at WOVEN quickly became overwhelmed with the number of squares they were receiving.

Elspeth and the Community Fundraisers with The Kirkwood, Julia Owen and Joanna Doherty, came up with the idea of installing a giant K at our Albany Road site in Dalton to raise awareness of The Kirkwood rebrand and take part of the Rainbow Rays aspect of the festival.

“It’s an amazing achievement and it demonstrates how much support there is for The Kirkwood across Kirklees, but also it demonstrates the willingness of our supporters to get involved,” Elspeth continues.

“We needed a minimum of 440 squares for our most ambitious plan and actually we’ve had 1,223 squares donated. It’s a testament to our loyal supporters and how motivated people are to engage in things that they enjoy like crafts such as crocheting and knitting.

“The WOVEN in Kirklees festival is really positive, it’s about celebrating the heritage of the area and making sure that isn’t forgotten, it’s a nice opportunity for us to engage in the wider community. We’re not just about hospice care, it’s a big part of us but there’s more to us. We do want to be seen as part of the community.”

Julia Owen, Community Fundraiser with The Kirkwood, adds: “Elspeth has been instrumental in getting the installation together. She’s managed the project, co-ordinated the knitters and designed the installation herself. We can’t thank her enough for her help.”

The 10x10ft K is fabricated from over 440 woven squares sitting on a wooden frame, the materials for which were kindly donated by Timber Specialists Ltd in Huddersfield. The installation was constructed by Brent Owen from Just the Job in Lepton and fixed to the wall by Michael Wilson and Son contractors.

The K is a great tool to help spread the message of The Kirkwood and our new identity, which was launched back in September last year. The Kirkwood is here for anyone affected by a life limiting illness in Kirklees, every step of the way. Whether it’s out in our community, at home or on our In-Patient Unit. We Support Life.

Elspeth says: “Our new brand is all about bold colours and a modern engaging look. It gave us a really nice design to work with. It’s been nice to have the brand to base the design on and crucial for how it could be tied together.

“It’s really important for people to see us across Kirklees as part of their community rather than a service that people only need at end of life. It’s about engaging well with our supporters and making sure that future service users are aware of us so that we’re there as soon as they need us.”

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