Hospice yarn bomb winners bring golden joy

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Totara Hospice have again been crowned this year's Hospice OT yarn bomb challenge winners!

Guest judges Renaldo Christians, Executive Director, OTNZ and Bonnie Chapman, NZROT, Cubro, agreed the entries were “incredibly creative, well thought out and clearly a lot of time went into putting them together,” says Renaldo.

Taking out first prize and the $200 Prezzy card was Totara Hospice with their exceptional ‘Going for Gold’ entry, followed by Arohanui Hospice with their amusing interpretation on the competition - ‘Yarn bomb for OT week, we thought you said yarn bomb your OT!'

Lou Eaton, Head of Marketing and Communications at Cubro, says the team are thrilled to support this event for the third consecutive year. 

"We understand the important mahi all OTs do, particularly those who support New Zealanders and their whanau with end of life care," Lou says. "Getting behind this challenge is a small way we can show our support for Hospice OTs and give back, so that they can continue to create equal opportunities for those in their Hospice communities to participate in meaningful activities."

Read on to learn more about this years Hospice OT Yarn Bomb Challenge winners.


First Place: ‘Going for Gold’ facilitated by Totara Hospice OT Wendy Wright and OT and Coordinator of Te Puna Ora Anne Holland

Our entry represents the right of everyone to have a go, pursue dreams, aim high and share the joy of giving life their best shot. Going for Gold was a collective effort of patients (and whanau), staff, volunteers and supporters of hospice who donated materials and freely gave their time and skills to promote OT.  Over recent months day patients have been armed with yellow wool and excitedly returning the following week to show us their efforts.  At one point we couldn’t keep up with the demand to put the flowers on wires!  Some who were unable to manage to knit or crochet flowers were happy to knit a rainbow stripe or wind a pompom.  One patient taught us how to make butterflies.

One of our patients summed it up thus: “Craft is relaxing and comforting.  It’s my way of releasing pleasure for someone else.” Another felt that the flowers were “so nice, I have made some for home.” A volunteer found it very therapeutic to be helping with the project, she would sit down and make a flower. if she “had a spare hour.”   A fellow volunteer reflected that her family were all supportive, frequently asking how she was going and interested in what we were doing.  She misses it now that the project has been completed!

Although those contributors were not consciously doing it specifically to promote the role of OTs, their comments clearly show that there was benefit and that they found purpose and a sense of achievement in what they were doing……occupational therapy.

Judges Renaldo and Bonnie were blown away by the detail put in by Totara Hospice “lots of detail, lots of effort to put it together and with a fantastic meaning behind it” shares Renaldo. Bonnie Chapman adds “There is incredible detail in this work with the arrangement, mounting, overall display, and description - how clever and bright. I see a lot of time and fastidious detail in this entry, well done”.

Runner up: ‘Yarn bomb for OT week, we thought you said yarn bomb your OT’ facilitated by OT Faye Lloyd

We have had patients, volunteers and staff contribute, and continue, to contribute peggy squares to local organisation ‘Peggy Purl in the community’ where blankets are donated for babies and children in need. ‘Twiddle muffs’ were also made for patients with dementia, and a new initiative shared by Mary Potter Hospice with knitting of small hearts that will be utilised in our bereavement morning teas at Arohanui Hospice.

“I do appreciate the colourful contribution from Arohanui Hospice “Yarn bomb your OT”. With their dedication to ongoing projects in their therapeutic programs and their sense of humour, knitting and crochet seems an inclusive and creative outlet for their whole team” says Bonnie Chapman.

If your hospice is running a creative initiative in future, get in touch we’d love to hear about.