When Dianne Gillett started volunteering at Baptistcare’s William Carey Court Residential Care in Busselton in Western Australia last year, she thought her visits would just be about providing companionship.
But as she began to get to know the residents, the talented seamstress and organiser of the Dunsborough Quilt Show realised many of them shared her passion for sewing and were missing the opportunity to get back into needlework.
So she proposed a sewing group which has since become one of William Carey Court’s most popular and surprisingly social activities.
Each week up to ten crafty ladies come together to create gorgeous handmade pieces such as lavender bags and table mats, which they proudly gift to family and friends.
They’ve also become the go-to seamstresses for residents needing trousers hemmed or missing buttons reattached.
“It has been an extremely rewarding experience seeing these lovely residents rediscover their love for needlework,” said Dianne.
“Many of our sewing ladies grew up in an era when everyone made clothes for themselves and their families, so our sewing bees evoke many wonderful memories.”
The weekly sessions have delivered some surprising benefits for William Carey Court’s sewers. They inspire creativity, help improve hand-eye coordination and provide a great brain workout.
But according to Dianne, it is the creation of new memories which makes the sewing circle such a memorable experience.
Bev Perrott and Edna Langridge are among William Carey Court’s most dedicated seamstresses, and they say the sewing group has been an excellent opportunity to form new friendships.
“I used to sew a lot back in the day and I’m grateful that the sewing group has allowed me to rediscover my passion and share it with others,” Edna said.
“I’m amazed at how easy it was to get back into it, even after not using a sewing machine for years.”
BaptistCare has a volunteering program that they have been running for a number of years.
Find out more: https://www.baptistcare.com.au/volunteering/
Inside Ageing welcomes stories about aged care workers and the positive impact they have on ageing Australians. Submissions can be emailed to the news desk: firstname.lastname@example.org