A mother who inspired an 'army of knitters' for premature babies is thrilled with the success of the 'mission'.

Sophie Leveratt ,30, of Hexham first created the 'mission' for the knitters when she asked on Facebook if anyone would like to create octopuses for ward 9 at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.

The campaign has ran for a few weeks and there have been huge interest across Northumberland and other parts of the UK.

She said: "There are currently 80 octopuses all together now, which is a huge jump from last few weeks where there were only few."

I’m so pleased with the response and the outcome so far! It’s really taken off, from all parts of Northumberland. I’m thrilled.

I never ever thought we would get this many!"

Sophie herself was first introduced to the idea of the octopus when her daughter, Lara Daisy was in the special care unit and was diagnosed with a rare birth defect called Gastroschisis. She was in special care units and ward 9 for the first month of her life.

She says: "It makes me emotional when I see how many there are, it was such a emotional time for us as parents and this is a lovely positive outcome of Lara’s journey."

I would like to say thank you to the Abby for the continued support with the octopuses , and thank you to every single person who has taken time to make a octopuses, as parents we have been through such a journey from the moment we got Lara’s diagnosis, this outcome of Lara now being a healthy, happy 4month old baby, and now the knowledge of the octopuses is out there; and we have lots of donations just makes the whole situation worth it all.

We have also had donations of knitted, hats, mittens etc, which are greatly appreciated along side the octopuses."

Anyone wishing to donate their knitted octopus or any knitted item, the last drop off is 1 November at Hexham Abbey Parish office.