Lockdown knitters in Somerset have been clicking their needles to create an aquarium with a difference for residents at a care home in Wellington.

Responding to a call from the activities team at Camelot House & Lodge for knitted sea creatures they duly picked up their needles and came to the rescue.

“It’s been pretty tough for our residents these past few months due to the Covid-19 restrictions,” said the home’s activities co-ordinator Richard Dempslake.

“Sadly, it’s been very difficult for them to see their friends and families and we’ve been doing all we can to keep their spirits up.

“That’s when we came up with the idea or repurposing an unused fish tank that we had in storage into a sensory aquarium with knitted sea creatures.

“For people with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease it is particularly important to energise their minds and to create talking points.

“Sensory tanks give visual stimulation to our residents and become an activity in themselves – such as naming the sea creatures or asking for their favourite knitted creature.”

Richard, along with Sophie Carter, Kathy Burge and Amy Lemon, dressed the tank with tinsel, artificial aquatic plants and LED lights and fish hanging down from wires.

The creatures, which include tropical fish, a crab and even a mermaid were all made by local knitters Christine Wall, Julie Bolt and Karen Kerslake.

“I thought it was a brilliant idea and was really pleased to help,” said Julie. “I hope the residents get many hours of pleasure from looking at them.”

Christine, who runs weekly ‘knit and natter’ sessions at the Salvation Army’s hall in Taunton who make knitted items for local care homes and community projects, said the fish were fun to make.

“Sadly, due to the restrictions I haven’t been to see the aquarium yet, but it looks great in the photographs and I’m delighted to have been involved.”

Camelot House and Lodge is run by Camelot Care is a specialist care home for up to 90 people with dementia located on Taunton Road, Wellington.