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Crafty helping hands bring welcome cheer

Callum HunterSouth Western Times
Helen English, Elsie Hutchings, Lydia Dawe and Valda Spencer have lost count of the amount of items they have made and donated.
Camera IconHelen English, Elsie Hutchings, Lydia Dawe and Valda Spencer have lost count of the amount of items they have made and donated. Credit: South Western Times, Callum Hunter

Four Dalyellup seniors have dedicated their spare time to creating soft toys and clothing for cancer and hospital patients.

Helen English, Elsie Hutchings, Lydia Dawe and Valda Spencer started meeting on Monday afternoons more than five years ago to sew, knit and crochet products for patients at Bunbury Hospital, St John of God Hospital and Dot’s Place.

“We went to the regional hospital and asked them if they’d like things made and they said ‘too right’,” Mrs English said.

“Consequently we now provide for both hospitals, and Dot’s Place some of the warm clothing we make like blankets, scarves, beanies and turbans.”

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Among the more popular items the group has made are knitted mice for young paediatric patients to stash in their gown pockets during procedures and scare their carers with.

“They (doctors and nurses) are all informed about it beforehand and play along with it,” Mrs English said. “It relaxes the child before they need to have an anesthetic.”

Mrs Hutchings said they enjoyed helping people and the Monday meetings were a great way to socialise. She jokingly likened the work to a mini production line.

“We get asked for hundreds of drain bags,” she said.

“A couple of weeks ago we made capes ... the hospital came along and asked for capes to clip onto hospital gowns so the kids could be Batman or Superman or whoever.”

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