KNITTING has helped a mum left housebound after a car crash to transform her life.

Mum-of-three Katie Brown became physically disabled after a road accident three years ago.

The 47-year-old suffered a spinal cord injury which severely limited her mobility and left her feeling depressed and isolated.

"I lost the use of my right leg, bowel and bladder function," said Katie, from Rudheath, diagnosed with a very rare condition, Cauda Equina Syndrome, after discs in her spine ruptured into her spinal cord and caused permanent damage.

"I suffer chronic pain 24 hours a day," she said. "It took me to a really dark place. It impacts on everyone around me. Not only had my life changed but it changed theirs.

"I felt so guilty, I couldn't see any light at the end of the tunnel.

Out of the blue, her son who lives in America sent her a book of patterns for knitting cats!

"I found a love for knitting again," said Katie, who was taught how to knit by her gran. "I had become so isolated, I sometimes spent all week in my bedroom, I was in so much pain."

Katie was keen to share her skills and contacted Rudheath and Witton Together Big Local, a Lottery funded programme after reading that they were looking for people with ideas to develop people's confidence and abilities.

With support and funding from Big Local, Katie set up a knit and natter group.

Northwich Guardian:

Katie Brown's life has been transformed after setting up a knit and natter group with help and support from Rudheath and Witton Together Big Local

The group meets every Thursday from 1pm to 3pm at The Venue community centre on Gadbrook Road.

All yarns and needles are provided free with complimentary tea and coffee and there is no charge for tuition.

After just six months, it has become a huge success and has restored Katie's motivation and inspired her to plan ahead.

"It has just changed my life," said Katie. "I feel connected to the world again. It has given me a purpose. We're like a little family.

"I've made some great friends, they keep in touch with me texting and it gives me something to work on during the week."

Everyone teams up to share their skills and knowledge.

"The whole group works together," said Katie. "It spans generations. The youngest person is 10 as we've had people bringing their children and grandchildren and the oldest is 87.

"Knitting needs to be passed on to the next generation otherwise it will become a disappearing art. If you're learning on your own at home you can give up. If I'm stuck other ladies help out and I teach as well, fixing people's work and getting them back on track.

"There are great therapeutic values to knitting. This project has inspired people. I'm learning to take a day at a time."