This Valentine’s Day, Juniper wants to shine light on the incredible friendships formed across our tightknit retirement living community.

Galentine’s Day is all about celebrating steadfast female friendships and nothing captures the spirit of solidarity and connection better than the wonderful women of Juniper’s long-running craft group Hugs & Stitches.

For the group’s more recent additions Cavell and Elita, the friendships they’ve found have made a world of difference to their lives since they moved into Juniper’s Chrystal Halliday Retirement Living in Karrinyup.

Both ladies now look forward to the weekly Thursday catch-ups with their Hugs & Stitches friends, with Elita in particular coming out of her shell since initially joining as one of the more reserved members of the group.

“When she first joined she was very quiet and very shy,” long-time member and group organiser Alison said.

“She’s really come out of her shell and it’s been incredible to see the wonderful friendships she has made since she’s joined the group.”

Born in Latvia, 85-year-old Elita moved into Chrystal Halliday around 15 months ago and has loved the sense of community in the complex.

When she heard word about the Hugs & Stitches group, she was eager to rekindle her childhood love of knitting.

“I hadn’t knit for over 30 years before I joined the group,” she said.

“It took me a little while to get into it, but it’s been wonderful to start knitting again.”

While she enjoys the craft aspect of the group, Elita said it’s the friendships she’s made that she’s treasured the most.

“I have made some great friendships here,” she said. “I love living here at Chrystal Halliday. I can still live independently, which keeps me going. I walk to the shops regularly and my daughter lives only 15 minutes away.”

Eighty-year-old Cavell has been a resident at Chrystal Halliday for the past two years, prior to which she resided at Juniper’s Rowethorpe Retirement Living in Bentley.

Like Elita, Cavell was also eager to join Hugs & Stitches where she has been putting her childhood knitting skills to use.

“I love the friendships I’ve made since I started coming here,” she said.

“I very rarely make appointments on Thursdays so that I can come along to the sessions each week.”

Both women agreed that that the social aspect of the group was the biggest drawcard for them to attend each week, and that they’re thankful to have met such a wonderful group of people who they now call their friends.

Find out more about Juniper’s Retirement Living community here.

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