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Residents at Agmaroy Aged Care Home can enjoy a range of sensory blankets thanks to a donation from Ashburton Aboriginal Corporation (AAC) and Communicare.
AAC business development and sales coordinator Gary Chesson and Communicare community initiatives coordinator Victoria Robinson visited the home in June. Agmaroy, located in the Perth suburb of Wilson, was selected since Gary’s mother Bernie is a resident there.
Sensory blankets, also known as fiddle blankets, are decorated with pockets, different sorts of fabrics and have buttons, beads or bits of rope sewn onto them. They are designed to stimulate visual, auditory and tactile experiences as residents play with the different textures, and can have a calming effect.
The materials for the blankets come from sheets, pillowcases and doona covers recycled from mine site housing, prisons and camps.
"Due to wear and tear and contractual obligations, mine site linen has a finite lifespan and is regularly replaced. In times gone by some of this linen may well have ended up in landfill,” Gary said.
“Rather than have it end up in landfill, we collect the material and the reusable items go to Communicare. The people involved in the Work for the Dole program they run created these blankets.”
Communicare provide a range of activities for job seekers through the Work for the Dole program, such as community sewing projects to create curtains, blankets and bears for people in need.
“It means the mine sites get to recycle the linen and Communicare get materials to work with, all at no cost,” Gary said.
Last year AAC processed 200 tonnes of redundant linen. Items that are not able to be reused are turned into industrial rags.
Agmaroy’s Director of Nursing Carmel Greenwood-Hone said she was thrilled with the donation and she was looking forward to passing the blankets on to residents.
Victoria said she was pleased Communicare could play a part in giving the linen another life, rather than it being thrown away.