A BOX of handmade knitted scarves were donated to cancer patients at the Royal Berkshire Hospital, last week.

The special scarves were made by volunteers from aHuG - a charity recently set up by Berkshire mother of two and cancer patient, Carol Anne Doyle.

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Ms Doyle, also known as Muma Bear, was diagnosed with ovarian and endometrial cancer nine months ago and began chemotherapy in February and radio therapy in July.

She explained one of the side effects of chemotherapy is neuropathy (numbness in the hands and feet) and discovered knitting helped to overcome this.

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She started knitting 'muma hug' scarves for her two daughters, Alicia and Hannah, who were away at university as a way to connect with them.

She explained: "Then I realised the comfort and security these scarves gave to the wearer during cancer treatment, the dark days or even when napping...just like someone giving you aHuG."

It was then that aHuG was born and despite launching just eight weeks ago, there is already a team of 304 volunteers.

Ms Doyle said: "For the families, many people feel helpless and want to do something but not everyone can participate in the traditional activities - sponsored cycles and marathons.

"It also pulls the whole family together to spend quality time together knitting."

She revealed that cancer patients who knit can rebuild their focus and brainpower whilst helping with the neuropathy.

She added: "Often cancer patients try not to burden families and can be more willing to engage with strangers so just knowing that someone they don't know has sent them love and best wishes - many of our knitters say that they build in positive vibes, prayers and love into the pieces they are knitting.

"It helps patients to know that someone wants to make their difficult journey a little easier."

Each comforter scarf is sent to local cancer units or to patients through individual requests.

Ms Doyle explained: "The concept of sending aHuGs to people who really need them has touched so many people and this is something we'd love to go national with and expand the reach beyond those having cancer treatment."

Volunteers register as a crochet/knitter on their website and choose their favourite patterns to knit with help from FAQs.

Once complete, the aHuGs are sent to aHuG central where they are laundered and a label added to them.

Each aHuG is individually packaged and personalised from the sender giving the recipient the opportunity to say thank you through us to the knitter.

However, you don't necessarily have to be able to knit to help - to find out more visit www.aHuG.co.uk.