Yacaaba to receive Jan’s helping hands

Jan shows off some of the prizes.

NELSON Bay’s Yacaaba Centre has been offering a helping hand to people in need for 30 years, but with the end of some government funding last financial year, the future of this vital and beloved service will come with a fair few challenges.

Fortunately they are about to receive a helping hand…quite a few hands in fact.

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Jan’s Patchwork Group of Anna Bay have embarked on their greatest collective project to date, as they prepare to host their Inaugural Quilt and Craft Show, a two day event in April that they hope will result in a meaningful contribution to the work of the Yacaaba Centre.

“This group has been going for 20 odd years now,” said the titular Jan Hall, the group’s founder.

“We’ve moved around various places in Anna Bay.”

A recent excursion for members of the group stoked their creative fires.

“We went to the Singleton Craft Show, and when we were coming back I said: ‘There’s no reason why we couldn’t do this’.”

The discussion that followed was enthusiastic about the idea, but when the topic of the proceeds was raised, it didn’t take them long to focus their attention on a worthy cause.

“We were talking about it and we said that we don’t need any money, but we need to find a charity that we can donate our money to.

“At that particular time Yacaaba had lost their funding for mental health, so we decided that it was something we could contribute towards.”

The Quilt and Craft Show will be held at Gateway Presbyterian Church in Anna Bay, which also hosts the groups weekly crafting sessions.

The idea is to put on a display of bespoke and hand-crafted items of all sorts, donated by group members and others who may want to put something towards the cause.

A small cover charge of two dollars will let people into the show, where they can browse and purchase quilts and throws, knitted clothes, hand-carved wooden toys and folk art, cards and papercraft, homemade jewellery and much more.

They will also be holding lucky dips, a guessing competition and a raffle.

But the real drive for fundraising will be the ‘Hands for Yacaaba’.

“Because the fees will likely come to small amounts, we’ve come up with this idea where we’d like to see local businesses getting involved,” said group member and event coordinator Colleen Maloy.

The concept involves asking local business owners and leaders to purchase a craftwork hand for between $10 and $100.

Each hand will then be labelled with its business logo and strung together as bunting for the event.

“At the end of it all, we will present the bunting to the Yacaaba Centre.”

The idea is a fantastic creative expression of the concept of ‘lending a hand’.

Members of the group will be visiting stores and services in Port Stephens for the next few weeks leading up to the event to be held on 26 and 27 April.

For further information or to purchase a ‘hand’ please contact Jan Hall on 0409656630 or Colleen Maloy on 0438805008.

By Lindsay HALL

Jan’s Patchwork Group is asking Port Stephens to give the Yacaaba Centre a hand.

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