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Knitters create mittens for injured koalas

Arklow crafters join global effort to help animals hurt in fires

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Grace Shannon, Leah Keeley and Maya O’Driscoll with some of the mittens, blankets and
pouches that will be sent over to help animals injured in Australian bushfires

Grace Shannon, Leah Keeley and Maya O’Driscoll with some of the mittens, blankets and pouches that will be sent over to help animals injured in Australian bushfires

Ruth Dillon and Julie New with their junior knitting class at Plain and Pearl in Arklow

Ruth Dillon and Julie New with their junior knitting class at Plain and Pearl in Arklow

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Grace Shannon, Leah Keeley and Maya O’Driscoll with some of the mittens, blankets and pouches that will be sent over to help animals injured in Australian bushfires

A group of knitters in Arklow are handmaking items for animals affected by the huge bushfires in Australia.

Millions of animals, many unique to the continent, are thought to have perished in the blazes while those that have survived are being cared for. Now, a global craft effort is under way to make supplies to help the thousands of injured animals.

Students of Plain and Pearl's knitting classes in Arklow have come together to do their bit by making mittens for injured koalas.

Speaking to this newspaper, Julie New of Plain and Pearl said: 'We saw the appeals on social media for people to make pouches to help the animals. What's happening, up to a billion animals dead, it's really sad. I said it to my knitting classes here on Thursday and the women wanted to get involved,' she said.

The Arklow craft shop has shared patterns for koala mittens and joey pouches on social media and is asking local crafters to put their needles to good use and help this worthy cause.

'I think crafters are very generous,' Julie said. 'Before Christmas, we sent a load of blankets to Crumlin, the maternity hospitals, St Joseph's and Rathdrum. We have some small blankets here, that would normally be used for babies, but we plan to send them to Australia for the koala bears.'

'I was contacted by a parent of one of the students in the children's class, who saw the post online and wants her daughter to get involved.'

And it isn't just knitters who can make a difference. Anyone who can crochet or sew can also help by making joey pouches for baby kangaroos.

Plain and Pearl plans to send a bundle this week, with the cost of postage, generously donated by a sponsor.

'We have a good big bundle here and will keep making them every week,' Julie added.

Wicklow People