Sewing is a favourite past time for many people. It is one of many activities available to day support participants at OC Connections. Neil, Margaret, Pauline and Susan have been taking part in our Tuesday sewing group run by day support worker, Roberta.
Sewing projects usually include heat packs which have a simple design and are easy to sew. They are often given as gifts, or sold at OCC events. However, this past semester the group had the opportunity to challenge their skills by producing a craft project for a cause – trauma bears for the Victorian State Emergency Service.
The SES keep the trauma teddies in their rescue trucks to help calm and assure children in rescue situations. They have a positive and reassuring effect on the child who may be injured or under stress and upset. Tony Still, OCC General Manager, Independence and Employment is a member of the SES in Geelong and presented the idea of making the teddies to sewing group co-ordinator, Roberta, as a potential project for participants.
Roberta designed and made templates for the participants to work with and they used donated material scraps to produce the bears over the Semester-long activity. Unlike the rectangle and basic nature of the heatpacks, these teddy bears are not simple to make. Little paws, ears, snouts and shaped heads give them a character and require a precise skill in sewing.
The end result are very detailed, carefully and lovingly made teddies that resemble any you would see in a shop and one a child would love to receive.
The teddies have already been collected by the SES and will take a place in an SES truck for when they are needed.
The project has instilled a sense of pride in all participants, with all four jumping at the chance to assist children in crisis.