24 May 2019

Media release

A group of residents from Stockland’s Highlands Retirement Village in Craigieburn have hand knit and donated more than 70 dolls and bears to Craigieburn and Broadmeadows police stations, which police will offer to distressed children they encounter as part of their job.

Melody Musgrove, one of the residents at Highlands Retirement Village, was inspired after making comfort rugs for a police station in Whittlesea, and wanted to do something in her own local community.

“I heard about a request from a group in Whittlesea asking for comfort rugs for the police station over there,” she said.

“When local police came to our Village to give a talk on safety and security, I asked them if there was anything that we could give them to help kids they meet on their calls and we just went from there.

“We wanted to help in any way that we could – one member, Gillian Ciminelli, had already made at least 20 footy dolls and the group was able to make an additional 45 bears.”

Billie Logan, another resident at the Village, was responsible for creating most of the donated bears herself.

“It was a lot of work but an easy decision for me,” she said. “I enjoyed making them knowing that they would be going towards helping a child through a tough situation; that they had something to cuddle up to and get support from.”

Melody and Billie are part of a craft group that was established more than nine years ago at the Highlands Retirement Village. The group meets in the community centre on-site three times a week and are always adding to their repertoire of stuffed toys, coat hangers, blankets, scarves, baby clothing and more.

Margaret Kaman, one of the creators of the group and resident at the Village, said: “We do sell some of our products at events, but we also love donating a lot of our stock to cancer charities and The Northern Hospital.”

“It feels really good knowing that we, in some small way, can make a difference in a person’s life who may be in need of some kind of support.”