AYRSHIRE’S Neo-Natal unit has been inundated with hundreds of tiny knitted garments after a freak flood destroyed everything they had.

Big-hearted knitters have sent in hand-crafted hats, cardigans and booties by the bag and box-load after hearing that the ward had suffered a flood.

The room which stored all the previously donated knitwear for neo-natal babies was all but destroyed after a toilet on the floor directly above leaked through, destroying every garment.

The Neo-Natal Unit has 20 cots in total; five for intensive care, four for high dependency and the other 11 are special care cots.

Caroline Blake, Clinical midwife manager in the ward said the response from people had been “overwhelming”.

“It’s been incredible. The flood happened on Monday and we were forced to throw everything away because of our sterilisation procedures.

“It was really quite upsetting to have to throw them away knowing how much time and effort had gone into each one.

“We put a post up saying we were looking for donations on the Tuesday at about 10am and by 2pm we had literally hundreds of knitted hats, mitts, booties and cardigans delivered to the ward and they have just kept on coming.

“People’s kindness has continued to overwhelm us. We actually have so much stuff we have nowhere to keep it because the previous room needs to be dried out and cleaned up. We have filled one cupboard but there is just bags and boxes of knitted woollies stacked up in the reception area.

“Everything that has been donated will go to good use. It’s hard to describe how much those small personal items mean to the families of our babies in here. To have something that has been lovingly hand crafted and to know that your baby is the only one who has ever worn it is something our parents treasure. In a lot of cases they take the garments home with them because it is the first thing their babies have ever worn so it’s important that we keep replenishing the stocks.

“We just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who donated. We have enough to keep us going so we won’t need anymore donations for a few weeks now.”

The ward also got a special delivery from six-year-old Amy Carten who had used her pocket money to buy baby vests for the ward. Amy sprung into action after hearing what happened from mum Louise, 38, who is a children’s nurse in the ward. Louise said: “As soon as she heard what had happened she said she wanted to buy something to donate to the ward.”