Soft touch for children in distress

A Uniting AgeWell Strath-Haven Community resident is using her knitting skills to provide comfort to children in dire situations across the country.

Ninety-year-old Jean Balmer – who moved to the Bendigo residence in April – knits Trauma Teddies for the Red Cross.

The soft toys are designed to support people affected by disasters like fire and floods, or those going to hospital for surgery.

“I always like to do something to help people,” Jean said

I get a lot of pleasure out of making the bears, knowing they go to the children.

Jean has a history of helping people in need.  During WWII, she used to unpick soldiers’ old uniforms and make much-needed children’s clothing for evacuees in England.

With decades of practice under her belt, Jean’s quick with a needle and can finish a Trauma Teddy in one day.

“I’m working my way through making teddies wearing AFL football jumpers now,” she said.

“I had to get my son-in-law to give me a list of all the colours because I didn’t know them.”

The wool Jean uses generally comes from her own collection, but she would be happy to receive donations for the project. 

If you would like to donate wool to Strath-Haven Community to assist Jean in her support of others, call 5434 3000.