A few changes are happening at Cambridge Care and Craft, with supervisor Beverley O’Callaghan and three long-time volunteers retiring from the group, and new supervisor Nicky Booth moving in to keep the long-standing tradition alive.
“It’s a really good thing for people,” Nicky said of the weekly event. “That’s why I wanted to take over and keep it going, because, it seems shame to let it finish up.”
Cambridge Care and Craft has been running locally since 1977, providing disabled people and members of the community with a chance to socialise and enjoy a range of activities. It’s on every Monday from 9.30am until noon, with morning tea and lunches provided at $4 per person to cover costs.
“Some people do reading, some people do knitting, some people to painting, but it’s more of a social environment, there aren’t rules, you don’t have to sit down and do crafts, it’s just a social get together and everybody looks out for each other and makes sure everybody’s okay,” said Nicky.
Doreen Powell, who is still involved with Cambridge Care and Craft, helped start the group along with Irene Wilson and a number of others. “She was fantastic,” Doreen said of Irene. “She used to be the supervisor at the Cossie (Cambridge Cosmopolitan) Club, where we started off. Her husband used to help out too… We had about a hundred people involved when we first started off.” Numbers today have dropped to about an average of 40 people.
“We’d like to encourage more people to come along, because it’s such a good thing for them,” said Nicky, who is taking over as supervisor, with Beverley O’Callaghan retiring from the role.
“A friend asked me to help out, I’m not really an arty person, but my husband said, ‘you’re good with the elderly, why don’t you go down and have a look,’ so that’s when I started,” said Beverly.
Also retiring are Margaret Lothian, a volunteer for 18 years, Eileen Potter (15 years) and Doris O’Connor (20 years).
“I just went to wash the dishes, and it just went on from there,” said Margaret. “I’m not really into craft but I ended up treasurer, just behind the scenes… Eileen came along because I went away on holiday and she came to help since I was going away, and she’s been here ever since.
“Doris has been the main organiser of the kitchen and the food for as long as I’ve been here, she’s coming back temporarily in the new year just to help new people learn the ropes.”
Those who wish to volunteer for Cambridge Care and Craft, or anyone who would like to join in on the social activities, is welcome to contact Nicky Booth on 8237445 or 027 236 3942.