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Australia

John Mason International joins the mission to help injured Australian animals.

People looking for a way to help as devastating fires continue to destroy land and animals in Australia have come up with a creative solution. Knitters around the world are handmaking pouches, nests and mittens for animals affected by the fires, from kangaroos and koalas to wombats and wallabies.

Millions of hectares of land have burned in the bushfires, killing an estimated 1 billion animals. As the death toll climbs, many creatures have been orphaned or left without homes.

The Australia-based Animal Rescue Craft Guild put out a call for these products on its Facebook group, which amassed more than 120,000 members in the subsequent weeks. The effort has attracted donors across Europe, Asia, and the US. The organization’s Craft Guild put out a call on Facebook for everything from pouches for joey kangaroos to mittens for koalas with burned paws, blankets, knitted nests and sweaters and shared patterns to make them.

Young marsupials including possums, koalas and wombats require pouches to grow. Without their mothers they rely on hand-stitched products from donors. Other animals such as flying foxes also require pouches to help their recovery, and rescuers say koalas need mittens for their burnt paws.

Knitters around the world are handmaking pouches, nests and mittens for animals affected by the fires, from kangaroos and koalas to wombats and wallabies.

The Rescue Collective, based in Queensland, has partnered with the Animal Rescue Craft Guild to distribute donated items to independent animal carers across the country. The collective has been getting an overwhelming number of requests from rescuers around Australia following the fires, said Rachel Sharples, a volunteer there.  “It’s not just kangaroos, it’s also baby koalas, it’s bats, and possums, and sugar gliders – all the marsupials in Australia who are used to growing up inside a pouch now don’t have a pouch to

To help do our bit John Mason International Movers will not only be acting as a drop in hub for knitters in the North West of England, but will also be helping to ship the items to Australia.

Anyone with items can drop them into our reception Monday to Friday 9-5 or send them to our Liverpool office. John Mason International Mover, 35 Wilson Road, Liverpool, L36 6AE.

For more on how you can help and to find patterns for the items the group needs most, visit the Animal Rescue Craft Guild’s Facebook page.

FAQs
WHO IS BEHIND ALL THIS
The Rescue Collective and Animal Rescue Collective (ARC) and Animal Rescue Craft Guild are all one team, alongside many rescue groups helping the firezones across 5 states, backed by a registered charity (MKC). 100% volunteer run. Our group coordinates the making and supply of craft items that can be used by animal rescues.

WHAT CAN I MAKE
Sewers: Joey pouches, hanging joey pouches, bat wraps, quilts and blankets. No hand sewn items.
Crocheters: Birds nests, blankets, joey pouch outers, animal jumpers.
Knitters: Blankets, joey pouch outers, animal jumpers.

JOEY POUCHES
Every outer pouch needs 2-3 liners.
Hanging pouches are very needed too.
All sizes are needed from tiny pouches for sugar gliders all the way to large sizes that fit older kangaroo joeys.

Inner pouches:100% natural fibre only (cotton, bamboo, linen, silk). Flannelette or plain cotton are great, some carers love stretchy t-shirt cotton. Upcycled bed sheets and doona covers are perfect for these. Fabric should be very soft (what you would give to a baby). French seams are a MUSTfor all joey pouch liners.
Outer pouches:Cotton, flannelette, polar fleece, wool, jersey, sweatshirt material, etc. Poly blends and synthetics are OK. Carers have their own preferences based on their experience and environment. French seams are not needed for outer pouches.

BAT WRAPS
100% cotton flannelette is preferred.
Stuff them so they feel like a firm teddy bear.
Only polyfil for the pillow

CROCHET NESTS
A variety of sizes are needed (from 3-12 inches in diameter)
Recommended to use one thread of a cotton 8-10ply and one thread of 8ply acrylic with a 5 to 5.5mm hook. But two of wool/two of acrylic is fine.
No yarns that are ‘fluffy’ like mohair

TUTORIALS:
3D hanging pouches tutorial: https://www.facebook.com/groups/arfsncrafts/permalink/2811263908926153/
Bag hanging pouch tutorial: https://www.facebook.com/groups/arfsncrafts/permalink/2807006449351899/
Pouches: https://youtu.be/VNaWDjxinPc

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