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​A Woolly Good Yarn: Prison knitting program keeps community warm

Issued: Tuesday 11 July 2017

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Cancer patients receiving treatment at Coffs Harbour Health Campus have been given warm woollies for winter from the staff and inmates at Grafton Correctional Centre.

Around 50 hand-crocheted blankets, beanies and scarves have been donated to the oncology department as part of a Corrective Services NSW program that helps female inmates to give back to the community.

Grafton Correctional Centre Governor Michelle Paynter said it was one of the biggest donations the hospital had received.

“Patients undergoing treatment for cancer feel the cold at the best of times and with the side effects of chemotherapy often resulting in hair loss, the beanies will help comfort them,” Ms Paynter said.

“This program provides inmates the opportunity not only to learn a new skill but to produce both practical and comforting items to the less fortunate and those that are doing it tough through illness.”

Earlier this year, residents of the Grafton Aged Care Facility were provided blankets, scarves and crochet bags while the Clarence River Women's Refuge and Outreach Services will be next to be rugged up.

Senior Correctional Officer Rachel Fodera came up with the program idea after volunteering at the aged-care facility.

Anyone wanting to make wool donations can leave them at the Grafton Correctional Centre administration building, 170 Hoof Street or contact the centre on (02) 6642 0301 to arrange an alternative drop-off point.