Leighton residents knit for a cuddly cause

Leighton Aged Care Home West Perth koala

Leighton Aged Care Home residents Ida Veness and Antica Melvan showing their knitting to 12-year-old koala Kiera.

Residents at Leighton Aged Care Home have broken out their knitting needles and wool to help koalas affected by the recent bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland.

Long-time knitters Ida Veness and Antica Melvan are using their decades of experience to create mittens for injured adult koalas and pouches and blankets for babies displaced by the natural disaster.

The items will be given to local group Rescue Craft Collective, who will donate them to wildlife rescues in the affected areas.

Everyone at the West Perth home also got to enjoy a visit from a local koala and a couple of other native friends this week.

Perth group West Oz Wildlife brought 12-year-old koala Kiera to check out the knitting project, as well as a dingo and a bobtail lizard for everyone to pat and learn about.

Ida said this is not the first time her knitting skills have been put to good use, as she also contributed to a national collection for woollen jumpers for lambs several years ago.

“There had been a severe drought in New South Wales, and then an unexpected cold snap, so farmers were losing so many sheep and lambs,” Ida said.

“People from all over the country were knitting jumpers so the lambs could stay warm.

“I love all animals so it is great to be able to help.”

Leighton Occupational Therapist Kelsey Gibson said there was a really positive response from all of the home’s residents during the visit.

“Many of the people who live at Leighton have had pets or grew up on their farms, so being able to engage with animal is a meaningful activity for them,” Kelsey said.

“Everyone asked the animal handlers lots of questions and were really keen to learn.”

Keen to get involved? To find the koala mitten pattern or to donate supplies, go to the Rescue Craft Collective Facebook page.


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