In just a matter of weeks, a group of creative residents from Royal Freemasons Streeton Park retirement complex, and their friends, produced an abundance of knitted goods to clothe and comfort children in the Ukraine.
The project was ignited by Streeton Park’s Facility Manager Linda Williamson who was deeply moved by photos her journalist daughter shared of the dire situation in the country.
“My daughter spent five months in Ukraine reporting on the war and some of the photos she sent me broke my heart. They showed mothers with their half-naked newborn babies having to evacuate and pregnant women fleeing the country with no bags and just the clothes on their back… and it was freezing!
“I was telling the residents about them and then this all happened,” Linda says pointing to the large dining table in the café crammed with hand-knitted beanies, cardigans, jumpers, socks, booties, blankets and toys.
The impressive feat was achieved in just six weeks. Residents and keen knitters Sylvia Found, Lorraine Davis and Isobel Davies spearheaded the project, inviting their friends to get involved too.
Lorraine Davis, one of the residents who joined the effort, said “I didn’t know how to help the people of Ukraine, but I love knitting and it was one thing I thought I could do, so I knitted like mad!”
Other residents generously contributed cash donations to purchase nappies and other baby items.
Linda has now sent the goods to the Ukraine, where they will be distributed to refugee shelters, orphanages and children’s hospitals.
“It has been wonderful to see the residents come together and work on this project,” says Linda. “It is our hope that mothers and children in the Ukraine feel cared for when they receive the items and know that we are thinking of them from the other side of the world.”