By LUKE VOOGT
LYNNE Ross’s knitting is helping Ocean Grove children face needles of their own.
Lynne is one of several ladies from Ocean Grove and Barwon Heads knitting teddy bears for children receiving vaccinations at Ocean Grove Medical Centre.
“I took a bag of teddies down to the clinic this morning,” she said.
“I find the little teddies are very easy to knock up – I can make two or three in a night.”
During a visit to the clinic some time ago, Lynne noticed little teddies sitting on a window in a back room.
A staff member told her they were for children who had just been vaccinated.
“I thought it was just a wonderful idea,” Lynne said.
She’s been knitting teddies ever since.
Jodie Pitfield is just one Ocean Grove resident grateful for women like Lynne.
Her four-year-old daughter Maddie received a bear after an injection, and in moments went from being quite upset to happily cuddling her new teddy bear.
“She went to bed with it that night,” Jodie said.
“I thought it was just such a beautiful thing for them to do.”
According to Australian Government statistics, roughly seven per cent of children are not fully immunised.
For Lynne – who worked at the Royal Melbourne Hospital as an administrator – immunisation is a no brainer.
“I just don’t understand why anyone wouldn’t vaccinate their children,” she said.
Lynne has visited countries in Eastern Europe and South America, where preventable diseases are rife due to non-immunisation.
Her sister has lived in Nepal for 17 years, and Lynne has witnessed villages devastated by measles and whooping cough during her visits.
“Nepal is still one place in the world where these things hit kids,” she said.
Patterns for knitting the bears are available at Ocean Grove Medical Centre.