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Craft of compassion at Brighton

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After an enforced break due to COVID-19, the Brighton Vinnies Knitting and Sewing Group are back in business crafting items for layettes for refugee families and scarves and rugs for the homeless.

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The group of mainly Brighton and Hallett Cove parishioners meet every Tuesday morning at the Brighton parish, except during school holidays when “grandmother duties” call.

Coordinator Barb Laing said a small group of eight ladies first gathered on March 6 1984 to knit baby clothes for distribution to needy families and young mums.

Since then it has grown to 25 members; two of them cut out material, eight sew the garments and 15 knit baby clothes, children’s jumpers and cardigans, scarves, beanies and rugs.

One member’s specialty is teddy bears which she sells for $5 to raise money for materials for the group.

Items are distributed to Fred’s Van and Hutt St Centre while the layettes go to various Vinnies conferences via head office to distribute to families and to the Refugee Centre at Kilburn. The children’s clothes go to shops at Elizabeth and Morphett Vale.

The group recently put a call out through the parish for volunteers to drive boxes of clothes to places and received a great response.

In a ‘normal’ year the group makes about 100 layettes each of which comprise a pack of nappies, four singlets, liquid soap, three jumpsuits, four bibs, two bunny rugs, a rug or shawl, a quilt, two matinee jackets, four caps/bonnets and one toy.

Barb joined the group 20 years ago after she retired and decided to attend an open day.

She said it was rewarding to help people while at the same time enjoying each other’s company. At 10.30am the women stop for a cuppa and some simple prayers, as well as a good natter.

“We feel privileged to be able to continue this work and with lots of help from external sewers and knitters may we long continue,” Barb said.

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