MORE than 70 years ago Jo Kapene's mother presented her with a pair of four-inch nails and taught her to knit, and that’s the skill she’s using to warm the babies of a new millennium.
A participant in Turanga Health's popular Kaumatua Programme, Jo is among a group of nannies talented with knitting needles making a difference in the lives of whanau.
Every winter many Gisborne babies and children can get respiratory illnesses. But babies attached to Turanga Health’s Tamariki Ora programme have been helped to stay warm with hand-knitted beanies created by these nannies.
The talented nannies, who want to stay connected with their whanau and community, recognise that being a good mum is one of the toughest jobs in the world, and can be made harder if there’s not much money to go around.
Jo Kapene, Norma Peck, April Tololi, Mary Staley and Maata Tuturangi are some of the regular contributors, and say knitting the beanies is a chance for them to give back.
“Knitting the beanies is a lot of fun and you know they are going to a good cause.” says grandmother and great-grandmother Maata.
Since they began knitting the nannies have created hundreds of sweet little beanies for newborns.
“We all hate waste so it's a wonderful way to use up those little bits of leftover wool,” say the hardcore knitters, who are now adding booties and blanket squares to their list of knitting for the babies.
Turanga Health’s Operations Manager Dwayne Tamatea says “staying warm during winter is not a luxury that everyone can afford.”
“Turanga Health is incredibly appreciative to these nannies for their aroha and skills, and we’re always grateful for anyone that wants to donate their time and abilities to whanau in our community.”
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