Ten years ago, Gladys Graham’s doctor advised her to put her feet up as often as she could, to help her poor circulation. Most people her age, would have conceded the time had come to take that advice literally and retire gracefully. Not Gladys. It was at the age of 90 that Gladys discovered her ‘second career’ – knitting caps and booties for the babies in our Maternity Services.
Every month, Chris Le Page, Pastoral Care Worker (pictured here to the right of Gladys), collects six to eight sets of the caps and booties Gladys knits. Chris explained that Gladys originally heard of the need for these items from one of our volunteer chaplains and decided she could help.
“Gladys pays for the wool herself and knits them with a lot of love,” Chris says.
Seneca Bowen and Jo Quinn from our Koori Maternity Service, say the midwives, mums and babies love how they are knitted in the Aboriginal colours.
“It’s fantastic that these hand knitted items can be given to families in need,” says Michelle Morrow, Maternity Services Nurse Unit Manager.
When we visited her with a signed card and a framed certificate of appreciation from the Pastoral staff at Northern Health, she insisted on sharing her birthday cake with us (a delightful confection, topped by coloured balls of yarn).
Gladys seemed quite amused by all the attention, including a card from the Queen – “I don’t know what all the fuss is about!,” she said.
Gladys showed no signs of slowing down and admitted she was ready once again to get back to her knitting – “I want to keep doing it!”
The Pastoral Services Department provides Pastoral and Spiritual support across all Northern Health sites. The department comprises of Northern Health employees, faith employed Chaplains and volunteer Chaplains.
As an extension of the in-house team, the Pastoral team also have a variety of ministers, some 50 in total, who provide support after hours to members of their own faith traditions. These dedicated individuals will come in outside of business hours to comfort and support those in need. Communications (formerly NH Switch) have a list for after hours when needed.