Lochaber crafters get working to help Australian wildlife

Some of the items crocheted by Nic Goddard to aid injured animals in Australia. NO F03 Australia fires aid 01
Some of the items crocheted by Nic Goddard to aid injured animals in Australia. NO F03 Australia fires aid 01

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It is really easy to feel powerless when we hear about disasters and the plight of those suffering, writes Nic Goddard.

Not everyone is in a financial position to make cash donations and, even if you are, that can still feel quite removed from actively helping.

The fires raging in Australia have various levels of help required both now and in the longer term, for people and for animals.

The ‘call to arms’ for practical help to assist in supporting the wildlife injured, homeless and orphaned by the fires has been one which really spoke to people here on the other side of the world as something practical we can do to help right here, right now.

The idea that an entire swathe of wildlife, many species of which we are familiar with but perhaps have only seen in zoos, if at all, could potentially be wiped out is heartbreaking.

Nic gets to work with her crochet hooks. NO F03 Australia fires aid 02
Nic gets to work with her crochet hooks.

So when my neighbour posted on social media, with links to a Facebook group of UK crafters helping Australian wildlife, promising to be a local collection point for crafters last weekend, I was quick to sign up, rummage under the bed in the spare room for yarn and grab my crochet hooks.

I’ve spent the past week trailing a couple of balls of yarn, crochet hook in hand, muttering stitch counts under my breath everywhere I’ve been. I’ve crocheted while supervising youth club (several teenage boys at Ardnamurchan High now know the difference between knitting and
crochet with one of them telling me ‘That’s sick. I really, like, respect that. Yeah, well done’ – which I think is good), while on the phone, while on a Skype call, while watching TV and while listening to podcasts.

So far I have made pouches in various sizes to house orphaned joeys, nests for injured birds and bush babies, and am currently working on hanging cocoon-style nests which I think will be used for koalas and bats.

Fellow crafters are making similar items using their knitting or sewing
skills. I’ve already handed over my first batch of items to my neighbour and I see from social media that UK crafters’ efforts have already started arriving in Australia and are being put straight to use in wildlife sanctuaries and rescue centres.