The packs, which contain a variety of newborn essentials such as baby wipes, nappies and bibs as well as hand-knitted cardigans, blankets and soft toys, were assembled by around 20 regular Harman Park attendees to be gifted to the hospital.
A total of 50 newborn care packages were handed over to two representatives from King Edward Memorial Hospital’s Women and Infants Research Foundation (WIRF), who were overwhelmed by the thought and care put into each package.
“We are incredibly grateful to MercyCare and the Harman Park community for making this happen,” said WIRF volunteer manager Paula O’Connell, who was joined by KEMH social work volunteer coordinator Liz Chidlow.
“Thanks to their spirit of kindness, every stitch of love will be poured into a newborn baby.”
Located in the City of Belmont, Harman Park Community Centre is a vibrant, friendly hub that provides engaging opportunities for seniors and those living with a disability to socialise and connect.
The centre provides attendees with an array of social activities and outings which are run by trained MercyCare staff and volunteers.
“It’s fantastic that these ladies are giving back to the community through this project,” Acting Executive Director of Aged Care and Disability Services Helen Jones said.
“Harman Park provides a warm and inviting space for people in the City of Belmont to connect, whether it’s to take part in an engaging hands-on activity or simply to socialise and meet like-minded people.”
Beryl, who has been a part of the Harman Park community for the past six years, came up with the idea to knit blankets and cardigans for newborn babies born at KEMH and put her talents to good use and help families in need.
Born in Leeds, West Yorkshire, Beryl discovered a love of knitting at a young age, having knitted scarves for people during the Second World War.
“Everyone was keen to get involved, it was so great to see so many of us come together to make this happen,” Beryl said.
Fellow Harman Park member and avid knitter Emmy, who has been attending the centre for the past seven years, was also keen to lend a helping hand. “I’ve been knitting booties and cardigans for King Edward Memorial for the past seven years, so I was happy to help,” she said.
Others who helped make items for the care packages include Kerry, who brandished her crochet skills passed down from her grandmother to make 26 blankets, Marjorie, who made handsewn carry bags and Terri, who brought in her sewing machine into the centre each week to help sew dozens of cuddle blankets.
MercyCare Activities Coordinator at Harman Park Linda Taylor was immensely proud to see how the group worked together.
“They really enjoyed seeing the project coming together and are quite amazed by what they have achieved,” she said.
“They have enjoyed catching up with each other every week. I can see that they are very proud of themselves and how they have gained purpose and worth in contributing to a group project.”
Each year, there are around 7000 babies born at KEMH, of which 1000 are at-risk.