Volunteering knits communities together

Meet Enid of north-western Tasmania, who volunteers her time by knitting toddlers’ jumpers for the Country Women’s Association and has also made countless bonnets and bootees for prem babies, as well as 60 Bananas in Pyjamas toys for charity.

The fiercely independent 83-year-old lives happily on a seven-acre smallholding in the area, thanks to a home care package through Uniting AgeWell with carers coming three times a week.

“This has been my home for the last thirty years,” she explains. “I can’t imagine living anywhere else.”

Her other passion is her collection of 4000 dolls which she has been collecting for as long as she can remember. Some are antiques, others are store-bought dolls, many are broken dolls she’s picked up at the tip or from the side of the road.

“Some of these discarded dolls are missing eyes, arms and legs, but they’ve been loved once and I just can’t bear not to rescue them,” Enid says. “Once I saw a doll on the back of a garbage truck and chased after it until the driver stopped. He gave me the doll, which was lovely!”

The dolls take up two rooms in Enid’s home – they’re displayed in cabinets, on shelves, riding a rocking horse and even in a makeshift little school room set up with a desk and a chalkboard. She also has almost every version of the Smurfs ever made.

“As luck would have it, I’ve got three sons and five grandsons, so no one has ever played with the dolls” she laughs. “But one of my sons plans on opening a café in NSW and putting the dolls on display there one day to be enjoyed by little girls in the future.”

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