Volunteers come together and learn to sew patterns
Juanita Nielsen Community Centre will donate the completed pouches to a distribution centre that will organise and deliver them to shelters in need across NSW.
The centre aims to have 300 completed pouches for animals including koalas, possums and sugar gliders that have been hurt this bushfire season.
Patricia joined the workshop at Juanita Nielsen Community Centre to do her part for bushfire relief.
“There’s a really good community spirit here. I looked online for pouch patterns and I really wasn’t sure how to do it, but now you know you’re doing it the right way.
“Living in the city, it’s very safe – other than the smoke. So, when you see all the terrible devastation, you feel so distraught for everyone and for the animals.”
Colin and Jay
“I'm not here to learn a new skill. I just want to help” – Colin (pictured left)
“We’ve got the time and we’ve got the motivation. We want to do something to help the animals and that’s why we’re here today!” – Jay (pictured right)
Community centre manager Alison Delaney welcomes volunteers
“We’ve been overwhelmed with the response to the sewing workshops. We had 3 scheduled and had to organise an extra 3 because so many are keen to get involved. When you hear 30,000 koalas are hurt, you have to act.”
“You just want to be able to chip in and do something – you feel so powerless otherwise.
“I got designated the ironing job. I work in fashion so I’m used to it! The pouches need to be ironed in a specific way. Once the cutters are finished, I have to make sure I press the fabric in certain areas so it’s easier to seam it.”
“I’m available, I’ve got the time, the energy and the skill, plus, I live in the suburb – so coming today was a no brainer!
“I’m sewing the extra small pouch and the outer shells. I imagine it will be for injured baby possums.”
Volunteers use templates to cut shells for the pouches
About 20 different volunteers come to each workshop.
The group is split into cutters, sewers, organisers and ironers, depending on the volunteer’s skills. Many have no sewing experience but they’re still an asset to the team.
Sheryn and Di enjoy their first workshop
Sheryn and Di are experienced sewers and pleased to be able to use their time and talents to help the bushfire relief.
“I wanted to invest some time, not just money, and I’m very happy to have the opportunity!” said Sheryn (pictured left).
The Juanita Nielsen Centre has free workshops where members of the community can support bushfire relief.
The centre has been overwhelmed by the response from enthusiastic locals. See upcoming dates and get involved.