Warm welcome for refugees
A group of Plimmerton quilters know how to make a house feel like a home.
Refugee Services last week celebrated the 100th handmade ‘‘welcome quilt’’ provided by the Coastal Quilters. All the quilts go to new families who come to live in Porirua.
This year, 16 families have moved to Porirua due to unrest and warfare in their home countries, including Burma, Syria and Colombia.
The refugees are given secondhand furniture, appliances and crockery to begin their new lives and a beautifully-made quilt is often the icing on the cake.
Refugee Services Porirua volunteer supervisor Sonja De Lange says it has been an ongoing initiative since 2010 and the refugees adore the quilts.
‘‘They are very happy to get something so personal and beautiful. They are aware of the effort that goes into making them and it’s something brand new for their house. Something like this has a huge impact on their lives, it makes them feel welcome.’’
Some of the refugees have visited the quilt-makers. One of the Coastal Quilters’ co-ordinators, Isobel Whooley, says their 130 members take great pride in their work. It takes up to eight months to complete a quilt, although dozens are always on the go.
‘‘It’s hugely satisfying and we know they’re going to families that need them. These quilts will last a long time.’’
The quilters meet monthly in Plimmerton. Visit: www. coastalquilters. org.nz.
Ms De Lange says they have a number of evenings coming up in September for interested volunteers who would like to help Refugee Services settle new families into Porirua.
Call 238 2157 for more details.
Cosy quilts: Isobel Whooley, Gayle O’Brien, Alison Tierney and Lou Nicoll, from Coastal Quilters, give yet another batch of ‘‘welcome quilts’’ to Refugee Services.