Crafting friendship and community spirit - Juniper
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Crafting friendship and community spirit

For the past twelve years, local Juniper craft group Hugs and Stitches has impacted the local community in more ways than they could have ever imagined.

Started by ex-Juniper employee, Robyn Edwards, the craft group was originally created for her mum to make new friends at Juniper Chrystal Halliday Retirement Living, but it turned into something even bigger.

The retired group of ladies has raised thousands of dollars for King Edward Memorial Hospital, Care Bags, ShopFront, Breast Cancer WA, Shoulder to Shoulder – Women’s Refuge, Brain Cancer Research, The Cancer Wellness Centre, Red Kite, The National Kidney Foundation, Radio Lollipop, Asthma Foundation and Meals by Mums.

“Over the past twelve months, we have made over 500 bags for Breast Cancer WA’s pilot program ‘Lollipop’ that supports post-operative pain for Cancer patients. We also make over 800 emergency toiletry bags each year for King Edward Memorial Hospital for families who are flown in from around the state for emergency treatment,” Robyn said.

Since starting in 2010, more than 20 members have joined, and Robyn said they meet every Thursday afternoon at 1pm, with all proceeds from their craft going to charity.

“Most of the ladies come earlier to the session for fellowship and then stay for the craft. Being crafty isn’t a pre-requisite, we welcome anyone,” she said.

“It’s amazing seeing lovely friendships develop amongst the group, I love the support we give each other, and the satisfaction for everyone seeing how their contributions help others in need.”

For over 30 years, Robyn was the resident hairdresser at Juniper Chrystal Halliday and said the community spirit has always been high.

“Everyone at Juniper Chrystal Halliday has always been so lovely, caring, and helpful. I formed so many great friendships with the residents and their families, and it is so nice to be able to continue to see them on a Thursday,” Robyn said.

Hugs and Stitches also support Juniper Chrystal Halliday Residential Aged Care Home by making rugs and fiddle muffs for residents living with dementia.

“We regularly hold stalls at the home, so the residents can look through our collection. It’s so nice to bring everyone together,” Robyn added.

This week is WA Seniors Week, an annual event to acknowledge and celebrate the contribution older people have in the Western Australian community. WA Seniors Week is also a celebration of seniors’ active participation in community life, and thanks to Hugs and Stitches, thousands of West Australians have benefited from their support.