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Patchwork sewing the community back together

Retirement Village Patchwork
Retirement Village Patchwork
Retirement Village Patchwork

Glengollan Retirement Village resident, Gail Dunlop and her friends Brenda Coall and Iris Nicholson have provided a crafts project to keep their community’s spirits high and a smile on everyone’s face through challenging times.

Sending a square of felt in each letterbox, residents were invited to produce a design reflecting their experiences of Melbourne's lockdowns. These squares were then sewn together and transformed into a hanging patchwork.

“We wanted to keep people thinking about what they’re grateful for and to keep their attitudes positive,” Gail said.

With over 60 squares completed, the ladies were surprised with the village’s participation, as well as some of the “quite remarkable” designs.

“It has been amazing, really. Even some of the single men have got involved and come up with clever ideas,” Gail said.

“One man stuck all his left-over ice-cream sticks on his piece of felt and wrote ‘this is what I ate in lockdown.’ Another added facts about his car club, which he’s been unable to attend due to restrictions.”

“A lot of work has gone into the patches. Some have done embroidery, while one lady put a lot of stamps on hers.”

Gail said that the craft project had kept her distracted during isolation. She has only been able to see one of her 18 grandchildren by forming a single-person bubble, and only one of her daughters.

“Cutting up squares and keeping busy has helped me as well,” Gail said.

“The biggest thing I miss is the physical contact. Because I’m a widower and I’m a touchy person, I just miss all the hugs.”

But while family visits are restricted, the village’s community are helping residents stay connected.

“I was unwell for a few days and people have been dropping off food and seeing how I am.”

“We all like to stay community-minded. Even at our age, you still need that friendship group.”

“We have excellent staff and CEO. They've taken good care of us,” Gail said.

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