Across Macarthur, there are 20 dedicated volunteers who spend countless hours knitting cuddly teddies for kids – and adults – going through tough times.
These local legends give up their own time to make Trauma Teddies, an initiative of Spring Farm Red Cross volunteer Vicki Katon.
Ms Katon told the Advertiser last year that the group was seeking more volunteers to help create Trauma Teddies.
“It definitely helped, getting the word out there,” she said.
“We’re up to 20 members now, we had 14 before.
“But we’re always on the look-out for more people.”
Ms Katon said last year’s morning tea, held to thank volunteers for their efforts, was a wonderful event.
She said the people who made the teddies never got to see the joy their creations brought to their recipients, but at the morning tea they were able to hear how well the bears were received.
“These ladies just knit the bears at home and don’t get to see the smiles on the kids’ faces when they get their teddies,” she said.
“So we had speakers at the morning tea who talked about how much the bears meant to the kids and what a difference they’re making.”
Ms Katon said the group, which last year made 1200 teddies, had been given a special assignment by Lifeline Macarthur.
“They’ve asked for 1000 Trauma Teddies,” she said.
“I’ve been told the teddies help people – adults too, not just kids – who are dealing with mental illness.
“They’ve found the bears are a big part of helping people with things like depression and anxiety.”
Ms Katon said Lifeline intended to include the Trauma Teddies in care packages for those battling mental health issues.
She said new knitters are always welcome to give Trauma Teddies a go, and they could help meet the order of 1000.
“A lot of us are older ladies, but we’ve got a few high school kids now, which is lovely,” she said.
“I can come out and meet anyone that wants to be involved and give them some patterns and instructions.
“I lot of people have got the time and want to help but they don’t know where to go.”
Ms Katon said anyone wanting to take part could leave their name at Camden or Narellan libraries or call her directly on 0418 414 401.