"Start the conversation" - that is what Robyn Laurenson and the ladies from Wingham Spinners and Weavers hoped to achieve by surprising the people of Wingham on Saturday morning (October 9) with 520 crocheted flowers scattered across the CBD in honour of Stillbirth Awareness Week (October 9 to October 16).
A table will be set up opposite the Country Women's Association (CWA) in Wingham on Wednesday, October 13 and Saturday, October 16 to provide people with pamphlets and information to stillbirth support services.
Robyn said the group will also be accepting gold coin donations at the table from those who wish to take home a crocheted flower for themselves or to gift to a loved one, with proceeds going to the group's chosen charities; The Stillbirth Foundation, Bears of Hope, Black dog Institute, and Beyond Blue.
"The flowers will be out for a week to hopefully make people smile and talk about some very important issues," Robyn said.
The flowers and pamphlets are about giving people the resources to seek help if needed and to spread awareness around stillbirth, says Robyn, as when she went through a stillbirth 30 years ago these services did not exist.
"The whole area (Manning Great Lakes) has been through tough times so we wanted to make people smile and give them a lift.
"If this helps one person to go and get help and pick up a pamphlet and ring the support services, then the whole thing has been a success."
It is also Mental Health Month in Australia during the month of October, which Robyn says the other charities were involved to bring awareness to the psychological effects and trauma of stillbirth.
"The trauma of losing a loved one no matter the cause is often kept silent but especially so with the loss of a child. The loss of self-confidence, self-esteem, the anger, and the anxiety can lead to so many very dark places," Robyn said.
Links to the charities the group are supporting are:
Robyn said they have had a "great response" to the initiative and hopes to see more people over the week during their information days in the Wingham, particularly with the lockdown lifted.
Annie Gabriel was also commended for her efforts, crocheting over 100 flowers for the cause.
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