Aileen and Marion, our two remarkable volunteers are stepping back from managing the Middlemore Foundation Wool Programme, an initiative that has touched the lives of many in our community. As they prepare to step back from their roles, we wish to celebrate their unwavering commitment and the positive impact they've had on families in our community.
Aileen and Marion have been the backbone of the Wool Programme, meticulously packing our knitters’ exquisite creations into packs for our babies as well as working closely with our sewers. Aileen's incredible dedication spans 19 years, while Marion has devoted at least 14 years, making them the longest-serving members of the Middlemore Foundation. We were thrilled to recognise their incredible contribution at our recent Knitter Knatter event as we reflected on their years with us.
The ladies carpooled into the hospital together once a week to spend the day in the wool room, sorting and delivering knitting, until COVID-19 necessitated a change in their routine. It was then that Marion generously offered her garage as a temporary workspace. Both Aileen and Marion enjoyed seeing the packs go out and found it satisfying knowing they were making a difference and potentially saving lives. Reflecting on her 19 years of service, Aileen shared, "I've enjoyed doing this for 19 years; it's been so rewarding." Marion added, "We've really enjoyed it, but we feel the time has come to step back.
Aileen and Marion's journey into knitting began at a young age learning the art from their mothers. As they fondly recall, knitting was a skill passed down from one generation to the next and their time was filled with the rhythmic click of knitting needles and the creation of beautiful handmade items. Both Aileen and Marion continued to knit throughout their lives, honing their skills and crafting countless garments and accessories. It was after their retirement that they decided to channel their love for knitting into the Wool Programme.
When asked what they enjoy most about knitting, Aileen and Marion both echoed a sentiment that many fellow knitters can relate to. They find knitting to be an entertaining and fulfilling hobby that "passes many hours." It's a craft that can be pursued at one's own pace, a source of solace during idle moments, and a productive way to keep oneself busy.
As Aileen and Marion prepare to retire from their volunteer roles in the Wool Programme, we want to say a big thank you! The impact they've made will be felt for years to come. We wish them well in their retirement and extend our heartfelt thanks for their incredible service. We are so grateful for the time and love you have put into the wool programme over the years. Aroha mai, aroha atu