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Bear-y cute .. Waimate Creative Fibre President Leonie Hopkinson (left) presents Bridget Wilson (centre) and Libby Cunningham, both of Waimate St John, with knitted teddy bears for child patients. PHOTO: JOY HARAHAP

by Claire Allison

Children travelling by ambulance in Waimate will now receive a little extra comfort, thanks to the efforts of a group of local crafts people.

Group has been busy over the past few months knitting teddies for ambulance staff to give to children who need comforting when they are sick or injured.

Group publicity officer Kerry Struthers said members had knitted about 30 small teddies, using wool from their own stashes, some of which had been spun by members themselves.

Mrs Struthers said it took an evening to knit a teddy – the pattern was very simple, knitted in one piece and then sewn up the side.

Group secretary Joy Harahap found the pattern at Knitworld in Dunedin last year.

“They had a display in their window of teddies for kiddies’ distraction packs for the emergency department at Dunedin Hospital, and were giving away the pattern.

“I thought it would be a good project for the Waimate Creative Fibre Group to work on this year, as we’d heard St John were looking for teddies.”

Mrs Struthers said the fibre group, which had about 15 members, aimed to complete a community project each year.

Next winter, members planned to make ponchos for residents of Lister Home in Waimate, having seen a similar project for residents of Fairlie’s Moreh Home.