Koala-ty friends are made when volunteering…

Volunteers Jenny Blackshaw (dark top) and Joan Bunn (white top standing behind wheelchair) with Baptistcare Mirrambeena residents, Marlene Mansfield (in wheelchair) and Pat Twine (purple top).

The desperate plight of koalas injured in the bushfires has touched the hearts of residents at Baptistcare’s Mirrambeena Residential Care in Margaret River. 

Saddened by the catastrophic impact the fires have had on koalas and their habitat, Baptistcare Mirrambeena’s weekly card-making group have been hard at work on a special project for the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital in NSW. 

With the help of volunteers Jenny Blackshaw and Joan Bunn, the group has made 100 cards that the koala hospital will sell as part of its fundraising drive. 

“The card-making group really wanted to help the koalas. It’s just a small way to help when so much devastation has happened,” Mrs Blackshaw said. 

Many residents at Baptistcare Mirrambeena have lived and worked all their lives in the South West and have a strong affinity with wildlife and the challenges of rural areas. 

“I’m not a sewer so can’t make joey pouches or koala mittens but wanted to do something. When I heard cards were a way for crafters to help the koala rehabilitation effort, I put the idea to the card-makers and they couldn’t wait to help,” Mrs Blackshaw said. 

Mrs Blackshaw, a retired nurse, has been volunteering at Baptistcare Mirrambeena for four years. She donates time and materials each week to run the card-making group. 

“It’s so much more than simply an activity that the residents can take part in. It’s also a chance for a chat about all sorts of things. It’s a very happy group,” Mrs Blackshaw said. 

“Volunteering at Baptistcare is utter joy. It’s one of the best days of my week.”