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Comfort bears for people with disabilities in ISO

GRACE Holliday and Chloe Moore have used their time in isolation to sew ISO cuddle bears to give to people living with disability who are still isolating because they’re at increased risk from COVID-19.

Eleven-year-old Grace and 12-year-old Chloe met through sewing lessons at Frangipani Fabrics in North Hobart and later made plans for the ISO bears project via ZOOM.

They donated the materials for the bears themselves.

“It’s been a hard time for people and I wanted to do something to help,” Grace said.

“I thought of the ISO cuddle bears because my siblings and I have special toys that we use for comfort when we’re feeling sad or anxious about COVID-19.”

Each handmade bear had a canvas belly and came with a fabric marker so it could be named or personalised.

The bears also came with an adoption certificate and a special message from the two friends.

Chloe attended the sewing lessons as part of Li-Ve Tasmania’s program for siblings of children with disabilities, as her younger brother Lochie was supported by Li-Ve Tasmania.

Lochie was still isolating because of his disability and health conditions.

“I was really excited when Grace asked me to help sew bears,” Chloe said.

“We’ve been isolated at home for a long time to protect Lochie and losing his routine has made it really hard for him to sleep.

“I’m hoping the bears will bring comfort for other people struggling with things like that.

“It’s been great to keep busy by doing something positive and I love sewing.”

Chloe and Grace have made 30 bears so far and are planning about what they can make next.

The bears are available free to any household with a person supported by Li-Ve Tasmania as part of the organisation’s COVID-19 Boredom Buster Bags project.

“Chloe and Grace have driven this project themselves and made a genuine difference for the people we support,” Li-Ve Tasmania chief executive officer Darren Mathewson said.

“COVID-19 has brought some big challenges, but great things can happen when people respond with kindness and creativity.”

Li-Ve Tasmania has been providing genuine, person-centred support to people living with disability in Tasmania for almost 70 years.

Caption: From left, Grace Holliday and Chloe Moore have been sewing ISO cuddle bears to give to people living with a disability.