Creative volunteers help hospital

Good yarn: Volunteer knitters [l-r] Merelyn McKenzie, Lorraine Collingwood, Evelyn Wah, Andrina Young and Karlene Spencer with their donations for Westmead Hospital. Picture: Gary Warrick

Good yarn: Volunteer knitters [l-r] Merelyn McKenzie, Lorraine Collingwood, Evelyn Wah, Andrina Young and Karlene Spencer with their donations for Westmead Hospital. Picture: Gary Warrick

VOLUNTEER knitters from across western Sydney are helping Westmead Hospital purchase vital equipment.

Over the years, a group of about 30 women who meet on the third Saturday of each month at Balcombe Heights have tried their hand at baby clothes, scarves, toys and other warm and fuzzy creations, which they regularly donate to the hospital's gift shop.

"We're from Baulkham Hills, Winston Hills, Galston, Rouse Hill, Blacktown, Marayong, North Rocks, Carlingford. We're all over the place," said one of the group's founders, Lorraine Collingwood, of Glenwood.

"It's good therapy and it's good company for people. We all do different things. One woman makes the most gorgeous toys, they usually get raffled, and she makes all these little booties in all the football colours."

When the items are finished, a group member drops them off for sale at the hospital's gift boutique.

"We get letters saying 'you helped contribute to $100,000 raised for the hospital'. It's wonderful. Sooner or later, there's always someone you know at Westmead Hospital, so we all feel that we're contributing to the community."

Westmead Hospital's volunteer manager Sharon Joseph thanked the women for their efforts.

"The blankets, delicate baby clothes and football booties fly off the tables and our visitors and patients are always asking for more," Ms Joseph said.

But most of the materials used are purchased from the ladies' own pockets, so Mrs Collingwood has called on readers to contribute to the cause.

"We're always looking for donations of materials. Ribbons, yarn, anything to do with craft. We never waste anything."

Details: Mrs Collingwood on 0417 276 716.

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