11th Jul, 2020

Crafters in Stratford join nationwide effort to help animals orphaned and injured by Australia's raging wildfires

COMPASSIONATE crafters in Stratford are creating emergency care equipment for animals caught up in Australia’s raging bushfires.

The Shakespeare Hospice diversional therapist Di Gough has been busy with her band of volunteers and patients, joining thousands of others across the country, to make joey and possum pouches, koala mittens and blankets to send to the country.

The pouches will support abandoned and orphaned babies while mittens will be used on burned paws.

The fires blazing across the south and east coasts are said to have killed over a billion animals including mammals, birds and reptiles.

Using a pattern guide, courtesy of national group UK Crafters United, the team has made over 100 mittens and pouches from materials donated to the hospice.

They will be taken to a collection centre in Cheltenham, set up by the craft group, where they will be transported to Australia.

Di said: “We just thought ‘What can we do to help?’ This has been a great project to be involved with and both the Monday, Wednesday and Thursday patients have joined in with the sewing and knitting.

“Everyone has spent time sharing stories of holidays in Australia and are just glad to do their bit to help.”

The crafting sessions also help those facing illness and tragedy to keep busy and enjoy creative timeout from their thoughts.

Sue Olver, a bereaved relative supported by the hospice, said: “I have attended a couple of diversional therapy sessions at The Shakespeare Hospice, and they are such a wonderful thing to do.

“I recently lost my husband to motor neurone disease and it is so good to be able to talk to people about it and also feel you are doing something useful by making joey and possum blankets and pouches for Australian bushfire victims.”

Search Facebook for ‘UK Crafters for Australia Animal Rescue effort’ to join the project.

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