Handmade dolls for comfort 

LESLEY Lawson’s New Year’s resolution is to comfort women in local refuges.
Nanjing Night Net

Knitting women together: “My original thought was women in shelters probably need some comfort,” Lesley Lawson said. Picture: Mike Sea

She plans to do this by making hand-crafted dolls for them — soft dolls they can carry in a bag within which there is a special motivating message, reminding them to remain strong and not look back.

“I hope it will make them feel they are not alone,” Ms Lawson said.

She said she got the idea for the doll from a magazine article she read about Operation Comfort Doll, a charity started in the US in 2007 which encourages crafters of all abilities to make these special gifts for women who flee violence.

“We think that this is a unique project that could appeal to many of the women in The Hills who knit, sew [or] embroider, who would be interested in using some of their spare time, and leftover scraps, to help other women less fortunate than themselves,” Ms Lawson said.

The dolls are very simple to make, she said.

In just two weeks she and her “sisters” from the Soroptomist International of the Hills made 50.

“This project fits into our objectives for the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence and White Ribbon Day (November 25).

“It also raises the subject of women’s shelters which is topical, given the closure of St Michael’s Family Centre [in Baulkham Hills].”

Ms Lawson said a Comfort Doll could be a doll, an animal or even a brooch — so long as it’s soft and less than 15 centimetres tall, “so it can be carried comfortably”.

“It’s a little encouragement [for women in shelters] and because it’s in a bag, no one has to know what it’s for.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.