Meet the Makers

What is your name and what group do you belong to?
Alison Voorburg. The Birkenhead group.
When did you join Make Give Live/How long have you been involved with Make Give Live?
I joined Make Give Live about 3 ½ years ago.
What made you want to get involved? 
I wanted to volunteer more to do good, and to meet like minded people in my community. And I love to knit and crochet!
What item have you made that you are most proud of/loved the most?
(A) I knitted an ‘Amy all over’ which involved faux-cabling all around the knit, whilstknitting in the round, and I didn’t have to undo any rows!
(B) ‘Taylor’ (babies hat) as I added three new knitting skills to my needles 
How has being a part of MGL made you feel and how has it impacted you
personally?
It makes me feel very connected to my community, empowered that I am doing good, and happy that the beauty of handmade items are valued.
What impact do you think the publicity around Baby Archie wearing a Make Give Live hat will have on the future of the organisation?
Hopefully it will have a long-term benefit to Make Give Live, enabling more groups to form, supporting those who take part, and allowing us to do more in the community to help those who could do with a mental and/or physical boost.
What else are you passionate about and what are your other hobbies?
Some would say I am obsessed, I say dedicated as I spend a lot of time training for runs or recovering from them! I run marathons, half marathons, and other distances, both on road and trail, and am just about to run my first Ultra.) I have been volunteering for Achilles International for about 5-years now, and
am currently helping one athlete train for her first half marathon. I also enjoy
reading, swimming. I knit and crochet my own projects (I always have many on the go). I love listening to music (a great mood booster if there ever was one) and play the flute, although not as often as I would like to.
Can you tell us a little about yourself? Do you work and if so what is your job? Do you have family? Any special circumstances you would like to share?
I am originally from the UK, and came to New Zealand 23 years ago, for a year’s work contract, met my now husband and stayed. I have two boys who keep me busy as I watch them grow into beautiful, kind people. The rest of my family are in England and Italy. I work for Te Whanau Tupu Ngātahi o Aotearoa (Playcentre Aotearoa) which is an early childhood organization, where I took my boys, as the parents are the teachers, which I loved, being immediately involved with their pre-school years.
  

 

Sheryl, 48, lives on Auckland’s North Shore. She joined our Birkenhead Group when it started out in 2016. She is the marketing and communications manager for Diversity Works New Zealand, the national body for workplace diversity and inclusion, and is also involved in respite foster care.

What made you want to get involved?
I had just taken up knitting again and was excited about the thought of something I was making going to people who needed it.

What item have you made that you are most proud of/loved the most?
I love our Bobbi hats – they are made with chunky wool and I think they are really funky. One day I walked into one of our stockists to show a friend I was shopping with our hats, picked a Bobbi off the shelf, looked at the label and realised it was one I had knitted. That made me pretty proud.

How has being a part of MGL made you feel and how has it impacted you personally?
I love being part of Make Give Live – I’ve met some amazing women, I’ve learned new skills and it’s opened the door to some incredible experiences. I got to hang out with Orange Sky giving hats to homeless people who were doing their laundry in a mobile van. I visited the Refugee Resettlement Centre in South Auckland and gained a small insight into what life is like for people starting their lives again in a little country halfway around the world. And I delivered hats to some delightful, funny senior citizens living in a community housing area.

What impact will the publicity around Baby Archie wearing a Make Give Live hat have for the future of the organisation?
It’s fantastic to have this opportunity to raise awareness here and overseas of the work Make Give Live is doing.  As a maker, I’m thrilled to have more customers. It’s really rewarding to know your hats are going to people who love them enough to buy one! It’s fun to be busy and the extra sales mean we can make even more hats to give away to people in need.

What else are you passionate about and what are your other hobbies?
I still play field hockey, very slowly! In summer I love going to the beach and away for weekends with friends.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

What is your name and what group do you belong to?
Delia Middleton.The Birkenhead group.

When did you join Make Give Live/How long have you been involved with Make Give Live?
I joined Make Give Live not long after it started, about 4 years ago.

What made you want to get involved?
I was recovering from a bout of clinical depression at the time and off work on sick leave.  My Occupational Therapist had asked me about activities I enjoyed growing up that I may like to get back into in a low stress environment.  Knitting sprung to mind having been taught many years earlier by my Mother and Grandmother. I googled knitting groups and happened upon Make Give Live.  Claire’s personal experience with depression. knitting as a form of therapy, giving back to others and socialising with others people in my community resonated with me and inspired me to make contact.

What item have you made that you are most proud of/loved the most?
Two items.  My very first hat which was a ‘Madison’.  The fact that I had finished a project gave me a great sense of achievement after feeling like a ‘loser’ for so long.  Many items later after my confidence grew, I knitted myself a shawl from what started out as a tangled mess of wool. Never knit straight from a skein was the lesson learnt!  It was a great test of my ability to concentrate, be patient and see the project through to completion.

How has being a part of MGL made you feel and how has it impacted you personally?
It has given me purpose, regular goals to achieve, a sense of belonging to my community, new friends, and most importantly led me to get in touch with my love of volunteering and helping others.  Not long after joining Make Give Live, I became a Volunteer Visitor for Age Concern as I have always loved the company of older people and am now also in a paid role as Social Connections Co-ordinator.  I have loved all the opportunities to be involved in giving away hats, including beanies for Age Concern clients, face cloths for Age Concern’s Christmas gift bags, beanies for seniors in social housing villages, and a learn to knit session at the Refugee Resettlement Centre in South Auckland.

What impact do you think the publicity around Baby Archie wearing a Make Give Live hat will have on the future of the organisation?
It has really put the MGL brand and the purpose behind it on the worldwide stage which is wonderful.  It has resulted in an increase in stockist interest, sales, resources to give away, and volunteers wanting to get involved which will hopefully continue to improve some of the social connectedness issues we see in our community today.

What else are you passionate about and what are your other hobbies?
I am passionate about my work at Age Concern and helping seniors in our community to overcome social isolation and loneliness whether through a one on one visitor or group activities in the community.  I am an outdoorsy person who also loves adventure. Hiking has been a big part of my recovery from depression. Getting out into nature is very therapeutic and sharing experiences with others. I recently walked the Camino de Santiago, an 800km pilgrimage route across Spain which was a massive achievement and so much fun, albeit painful at times!