Making the most of inherited jeans

Members from left Elaine Martin, Claire Green, Margaret Ranson, Margaret Hoey, Elaine Holman, Jan McGrath with some of their blankets.

Members from left Elaine Martin, Claire Green, Margaret Ranson, Margaret Hoey, Elaine Holman, Jan McGrath with some of their blankets.

ABOUT five years ago the Clarence Uniting Church’s Unicorn op shop, on Hobart’s eastern shore in Southern Tasmania, had a problem.

The shop was inundated with unwanted denim – jeans by the truckload were being donated but no one was interested in buying them, even at $1 a pair.

Back at the church, a member of the congregation was wishing she could offer the city’s homeless something warm to snuggle under at night. The idea found its way to the church’s Connections Craft and Conversations Group.

The craft group transformed the jeans into blankets with a polar fleece underlay, meaning the op shop was able to deal with one of its biggest frustrations.

Since then more than 200 blankets have been donated to UnitingCare Tasmania, the Hobart City Mission and Loui’s Van for the homeless. Other homemade blankets were given to UnitingCare Tasmania clients in Southern Tasmanian public housing communities at Bridgewater and Gagebrook.

Connections coordinator Claire Green said the group, which began nine years ago, is proud of its ability to support local endeavours as well as care for each member, regardless of their church affiliation.

“Some of the members live alone and do not have a lot of interaction, some have expressed how much the group has helped them,” Ms Green said.

While not a member of the congregation, Gwen Edwards said she had always felt comfortable attending Connections since fronting up to her first meeting about three years ago.

“I have made a lot of dear friends and the support that comes from each and every one is wonderful,” she said.

“I look forward to catching up with everyone each week and if I cannot attend I really miss my time there.”

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