Sew much fun for crafty helpers
By Wendy Shaw
Volunteers taking part in sewing days at Kings Meadows, Bridgewater and Kingston Catholic parishes enter a world of colour, movement and friendship.
Alongside the whirr of sewing machines is the deft snip of scissors and plenty of quiet chat and laughter.
Bolts of colourful fabric await attention while neat piles of sewing at various stages of completion are stacked in orderly arrangements.
This is a project close to the heart of Longford Catholic parishioner Denise Talbot, of Perth.
She has been the dynamic powerhouse behind Days for Girls in the Launceston area since she visited an exhibition while attending a Rotary International conference with her husband in Sydney in 2014.
The founder and team leader of the Launceston Chapter of Days for Girls, Mrs Talbot also served as state co-ordinator for seven years.
From August, Mrs Talbot is stepping away from her leadership roles to be a volunteer for the international not-for-profit organisation that sends menstrual health kits to girls in impoverished countries.
“It is mind-blowing to think how many girls’ lives we have changed for the better by the distribution of these kits,” Mrs Talbot said.
“Our volunteers make washable menstrual health kits for schoolgirls and women in developing countries, so that their education and ability to work is not affected.
“These are precious gifts to the girls who receive them.
“The other impact from this is that we are not only changing the lives of girls in other countries, but also the lives of women in our own community who help with Days for Girls. That fellowship is as important as the kits we are creating, and we always have jobs for people who can’t sew.”
Women’s health education sessions coincide with kit distribution. Days for Girls is also supporting the establishment of teams and enterprises in recipient countries to help them become self-sufficient.
Seasonal workers from Timor Leste and Vanuatu have taken part in sewing days in some areas, including the Launceston Chapter, Mrs Talbot said.
Kings Meadows Parish administrator Fr Damien Sladen praised the volunteers for their commitment to the project.
“These ladies are hardworking, talented and very generous with their time,” he said. “Their dedication to making kits for a very worthwhile cause is amazing.”
Five teams operate in Tasmania and volunteers are welcome. Kings Meadows, Bridgewater and Kingston Catholic parishes provide facilities to teams in their areas.
To find out more, please contact: Launceston Chapter – email@example.com (call Denise on 0419 370 646); Devonport Team – firstname.lastname@example.org (call Gillian on 0418 284 032); Meander Valley Team – email@example.com (call Lois on 0477 015 501); Derwent Team – firstname.lastname@example.org (call Christa on 0418 982 307); or Kingston Team – email@example.com (call Annette on 0419 543 287).