A KNITTING group has created a series of dolls to support children being adopted in Bournemouth.

The crocheting enthusiasts from Southbourne Library weaved the toys to help the council’s adoption team explain to children going through the process what has happened to them. David Rafelle, from Bournemouth adoption services, said he was always looking for innovative methods to engage the children at what can be a particularly traumatic time.

“Children can often become confused and not know exactly what is happening so we came up with the idea of using dolls to explain things to children in a very child-friendly way,” he added.

“This is a great way for adoption services and libraries to work together.

“It demonstrates that the library is not just a place to borrow books but can benefit the community in lots of different ways.”

Bournemouth council has placed 25 children into new adopted homes during the last year and Mr Rafelle said he was keen to attract more people to become adoptive parents.

However, there is a shortfall of suitable people and the latest national statistics show the number of children in care is continuing to rise, standing at 68,000 – with 4,600 of those waiting to move in with a new family.

Mr Rafelle said he was delighted by the help of people such as the library knitting group as it raises the profile of children in desperate need of new families.

He added: “It can be difficult to place older children, those in sibling groups or with special needs.”