Weaving Christmas magic

CHRISTMAS magic has been woven in Morwell over the winter.

A group of multicultural women have created a mountain of handmade goods, from woollen blankets to baby booties and more, to donate to children and families in need this festive season.

Using their Gippsland Multicultural Services planned activity group sessions as a workshop, the group has sewn, knitted and weaved a wardrobe which they handed over to Anglicare on Thursday.

More than 900 disadvantaged children will receive a gift from their parents donated by Anglicare this Christmas.

Anglicare community development officer Cathrine Muston said the donations would go a long way to support families in need, in particular foster care placements who have left home with few possessions.

“A donation like this means that we can provide warm clothes for children, which might not seem like much here on a sunny day, but in winter it’s very important to have,” Ms Muston said.

“A blanket is something that can be theirs, it can have some significance because it belongs to them.

“The quantity is overwhelming, there’s a lot here that will last us quite some time.”

The items will be distributed across Gippsland from Mallacoota to Pakenham and everywhere in between.

GMS social support services co-ordinator Irini Lehos said the activity groups were a mainline to the community for some members.

“They want to be part of the community and we encourage building bridges with other services; that links them in with other activities they can do as well,” Ms Lehos said.

“They’ve been through a lot of hardship and they’re not going to let age stop them (being active community members). They find ways and avenues, where one door closes they find another one to open.”

GMS assists multicultural people who may be isolated or have nowhere else to go.

They provide services to link people in and prevent them from becoming isolated.

Ms Lehos said it was important for migrants to stay connected.

“Particularly when you’re from a minority group you don’t have the opportunities available to other people in mainstream Australia,” Ms Lehos said.

“It tackles depression and its sort of a forum for people to talk and meet.

“They understand the migrant journey and I think that’s the most important (thing).”

GMS has a range of planned activity groups for referred persons.