The Border Watch : January 16th 2015
12 NEWS VISIT US ONLINE borderwatch.com.au Knitter uses needles to , hand-crafted by Dorothy Mitchell for children in the Mount Gambier Hospital, wears colourful pants and a jumper. Pictures: CAITLIN Decades of experience channeled into creating trauma teddies for children KENNEDY CAITLIN firstname.lastname@example.org It’s not that hard to be bushfire ready. Being able to listen to local radio is one way to stay informed, make the right decisions and have a fighting chance against bushfire. For more information visit cfs.sa.gov.au WITH an order waiting for more than 400 handmade teddy bears, Dorothy Mitchell and her trusty knitting needles are hard at work. With her slightly worn needles, she will process hundreds of brightly coloured balls of wool into bears, helping to comfort children during an emergency situation or stay in hospital. Dorothy started knitting during World War II, making socks for soldiers and volunteers. From there, an ongoing love for the craft was born and she created jumpers for herself before joining the Woodlands Grove craft group a few years ago. “We started making bears in the craft group during 2011 and I think I made four,” Dorothy said. Four bears embellished with the words “made with love, Woodlands Grove craft group” were delivered to the Mount Gambier Hospital emergency room. The bears were then given to children to comfort them during what could be a traumatic experience. “After that, I kept getting asked to make more - from 20 to 50 and so on,” she said. “I wanted to do something nice for somebody else.” Without following a pattern, Dorothy knits and stuffs the bears, funding her project out of her own pocket. She is now working on an order CFS0096_M 12 - The Border Watch, Friday, January 16, 2015 e young patients feel better GIFT OF GIVING: Mount Gambier resident Dorothy Mitchell, aged 90, creates teddy bears to comfort children during an emergency stay or visit to hospital. for 400 teddy bears, which came in at the start of the year. “I could average one a day if I sat at it,” she said. “I have lost count of how many balls of wool I’ve gone through.” More than a dozen colour- ful teddy bears are sitting on Dorothy’s kitchen table, ready for delivery to the hospital. Known to the public as the “teddy lady”, Dorothy said people often recognised her in the street. “I have had people come up to me and tell me their child has one of my teddies,” she said. “It’s not like I carry my knitting needles with me, so it makes me wonder how they know.” Now 90 years old, Dorothy hopes to continue the generous act into the future. “I will keep making teddy bears for as long as I can,” she said.
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