Spe­cial some­thing to feel quilty about

Central Leader - - NEWS - By MICHELLE NEIL

The lit­tle girl care­giver Emma Katuke looks af­ter is one of 40 tod­dlers and ba­bies stay­ing warm this win­ter thanks to the Auck­land Quil­ters Guild.

It has do­nated hand­made quilts to Auck­land Child, Youth and Fam­ily.

‘‘We like to feel that we are mak­ing a dif­fer­ence,’’ guild con­vener Cather­ine MacKen­zie-Simpson says.

‘‘Chil­dren are very spe­cial to us all and we would like them to know that there are peo­ple who care for them.’’

She pre­sented the 40 quilts to Child, Youth and Fam­ily at the Free­mans Bay Com­mu­nity Cen­tre. More than 250 of the 500 guild mem­bers at­tended the meet­ing to see first-hand where their hard work was go­ing.

Child, Youth and Fam­ily care­giver so­cial worker Ti­mena Kiria says it was a spe­cial day.

‘‘Those quilts would have taken a lot of hours to make and were made with love.’’

Many of the chil­dren CYF works with don’t have a lot of be­long­ings so some­thing like a hand­made quilt is sig­nif­i­cant for them, Ms Kiria says.

‘‘Their care­givers can tell them the story of the peo­ple who made them es­pe­cially for them.’’

Guild mem­bers do­nated 178 quilts last year and hope to ex­ceed that this year.

As well as CYF, they’ve al­ready given 107 to places such as the West Auck­land Hospice, Shakti Com­mu­nity Coun­cil, Pil­lars (a char­ity for chil­dren of pris­on­ers) and peo­ple in the com­mu­nity such as a young man with bone can­cer and fam­i­lies who lose ev­ery­thing in a fire.

‘‘We want the quilts we make to be used,’’ Ms MacKen­zie-Simpson says.

‘‘We like to think that they im­part a lit­tle bit of love, care and warmth.’’

Up to seven peo­ple are in­volved in each quilt.

‘‘It was a new ex­pe­ri­ence for me and for the care­giver; she felt re­ally spe­cial to be in­volved and it was won­der­ful to bring the lit­tle one along,’’ Ms Kiria says. ‘‘Child, Youth and Fam­ily is al­ways look­ing for ways to con­nect with the com­mu­nity and pro­vide com­mu­nity based sup­port for our care­givers and the chil­dren in care.’’

Warm feel­ing: From left: Auck­land Quil­ters Guild con­vener Cather­ine MacKen­zie-Simpson, Child, Youth and Fam­ily care­giver so­cial worker Ti­mena Kiria and care­giver Emma Katuke with a child in her care wrapped in one of the do­nated quilts.

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