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Busselton needleworkers sew for international charity at William Carey Court Retirement Village

Busselton needleworkers sew for international charity, Days for Girls, meet up regularly at Baptistcare William Carey Court Retirement Village.

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Busselton needleworkers sew for international charity at William Carey Court Retirement Village

09 June 2021

News | Retirement Living

Hundreds of young girls across the world have a special connection to a group of dedicated needleworkers who meet regularly at Baptistcare William Carey Court Village in Busselton.

Clare Parry, a resident at Baptistcare William Carey Court Village, has been stitching for a cause for the past four years, joining Days for Girls sewers from around Busselton, Dunsborough and Margaret River at the fortnightly sewing bees.

The keen local sewers are part of a global network of volunteers who make sustainable feminine hygiene kits for Days for Girls, an international charity bringing dignity, health and opportunity to young women around the world.

“It’s an opportunity to chat and socialise, but we also get a lot done,” said 87-year-old Mrs Parry who moved to the Baptistcare retirement village 13 years ago.

Each year, the team makes around 100 Days for Girls kits, carefully stitching each component ready to be distributed around the world, including to countries such as Nepal, Ghana and Malawi where many girls would otherwise miss days of school during their monthly cycle.

Globally, Days for Girls has made more than two million kits since the initiative began in 2008, making a difference to women and girls in more than 140 countries.

A long-time sewer and member of a local quilting group, Mrs Parry, a retired schoolteacher, is no stranger to volunteering and fundraising. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, she made masks that she sold to raise funds for a cystic fibrosis charity.

“My neighbour’s 13-year-old granddaughter was making scrunchies to raise funds as she has a friend with cystic fibrosis so it was nice to be able to do something to help,” Mrs Parry said.

“I’ve always sewn, making my own clothes when I first started, then taking up quilting when I retired and now I make handbags. I like to keep busy.

“Working with Days for Girls is an opportunity to make a difference, giving girls back days when they might otherwise have to hide and miss school.”

Ann Gobby, Days for Girls Team Leader for Dunsborough, said other residents at William Carey Court Village often dropped into the clubrooms for a chat with the sewers.

“We really appreciate Baptistcare inviting us to use the clubrooms and lovely to know that we’re also helping to provide companionship, getting to know more of the residents,” she said.

“The time and effort that our group of sewers puts in on behalf of Days for Girls is invaluable in so many ways, not least of which is the direct impact it has on women and girls across the world.”

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