Nanaimo Regional General Hospital (NRGH) patients will find a special wee visitor roosting on their breakfast trays on Easter Sunday morning, thanks to the NRGH Auxiliary Craft Group. It’s a little knitted chick stuffed with Easter eggs.
The group has done tray favours at Christmas and Easter for many years, but the chicks are a relatively recent Easter addition. They’re also a lot of work for the Craft Group’s Vivian Scott, a former NRGH nurse. This year, she’s produced a clutch of 450 yellow Easter ambassadors.
It’s definitely a labour of love. Each chick takes about an hour for Vivian to knit. Her daughter helps with the faces and ribbons. Vivian does the knitting at night.
She loves contributing, and she finds the knitting relaxing. That’s a good thing because this year’s batch took her about six months. She’s already working on the Easter 2020 clutch.
There are approximately 18 members in the NRGH Auxiliary Craft Group. They meet in the basement volunteer room on Wednesday mornings, and they are a productive lot.
Aside from the Easter chicks, they do crocheted stockings with candy canes for the Christmas morning trays. Craft Group member Joginder Pawar does all of the stockings, even though she now lives in Surrey. She comes to Nanaimo a couple of times a year.
“We have gotten positive feedback from patients who happened to be in hospital on those holidays, including one little girl who wanted to learn how to knit the Easter chicks,” says Muriel MacNeil, Auxiliary Craft Group Director at Large. “All of our members get enjoyment from doing these things.”
“The Craft Group has been the cornerstone of our Auxiliary since it was formed 120 years ago. And today these wonderful volunteers continue our tradition of helping to provide patient care and comfort,” says Phil Robling, Auxiliary President. “I am extremely proud of their contribution to our hospital.”
The Craft Group also makes many other items including hats, wraps, and incubator covers (quilts) for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU); IV covers and surgery dolls for the Paediatric Unit; cancer hats, mastectomy pillows, and seat belt port covers for the Cancer Unit. They also raise funds for the Auxiliary through two s