Pride of Britain nomination for knitter Margaret

Newspaper: Reporter Series.'Story: Ninety eight years old Margaret Nicholson from Dewsbury, who makes blankets for children in Africa, has been nominated for a Pride in Britain award.'Photo date: 15/09/15'Picture Ref: AB213a0915

Newspaper: Reporter Series.'Story: Ninety eight years old Margaret Nicholson from Dewsbury, who makes blankets for children in Africa, has been nominated for a Pride in Britain award.'Photo date: 15/09/15'Picture Ref: AB213a0915

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A dedicated 98-year-old woman has been nominated for a Pride of Britain Fundraiser of the Year Award.

Dewsbury’s Margaret Nicholson has knitted a blanket a week for children in Africa after retiring eight years ago – despite having just 10 per cent of her eyesight.

The Edge View great-grandmother was nominated by granddaughter and carer Sharon Wherrett when she saw a poster for the awards while out shopping.

“I’m surprised at what’s happened, there’s nobody more shocked than me. I cannot get over it,” Margaret said. “I just like helping people.”

“I was amazed when I saw myself on telly,” she added after watching ITV’s profile piece about her nomination.

“I just can’t see to do my cleaning up properly. I can’t see if the cups are clean – I’m sat all day. I have a granddaughter who’s my carer. She’s very, very good to me.

“There’s nobody else who comes to my house and it’s lonely, so I continue with the knitting I’ve done all my life.”

Before retirement, Margaret worked for about 40 years in charity shops such as British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK and Mind in and around Dewsbury.

Now she donates the blankets to Dewsbury Minster, from where they are transported to Africa to keep children warm during the night.

Even after breaking her wrist in a recent fall in her garden, the Thornhill pensioner carried on with her work.

ITV will broadcast the annual Pride of Britain Awards ceremony on October 1, when the category winner will be revealed to viewers.

Sharon said: “She doesn’t feel as though she’s done anything special. She doesn’t look when she’s knitting, she does it all by touching.”

Margaret has to attend appointments every month for a check-up on her eyes.

“She’s knitted one a week for eight years. Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds she’s made. She buys all her own wool. I’m just so proud of her,” Sharon added.

Since seeing the report on television, a local man has come forward and said he will pay for the wool Margaret uses for her creations.

And a Facebook page has been set up to keep the community up to date with her activities. To view it, search for Margaret Nicholsons Knitting Page.