Article in the Daily Liberal

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Volunteers needed to make angel gowns

A NATIONAL charity that tries to soften the blow of losing a baby is desperate to find more volunteer seamstresses in Dubbo and the district.

Angel Gowns for Australian Angel Babies turns donated wedding and formal attire into “angel gowns” for deceased babies.

Dubbo Hospital and funeral home W Larcombe and Sons recently received packages from the charity, each containing a gown, bonnet, booties, nappy, angel wrap or blanket, and a keepsake for a bereaved family.

The charity’s volunteers “do all the deconstruction, sewing, knitting, crochet and creation of keepsakes”, reports its NSW manager Melinda Parker.

“At this point in time we have stopped collection of dresses until our volunteers can get on top of the donations already collected,” she said.

“We currently have only two seamstresses in the Dubbo area, Carol Triplett in Wellington and Julie Prout in Gilgandra.

“We would welcome new volunteers and anybody interested in helping out is asked to register their interest through the website”

Ms Prout gets a “great deal of satisfaction” at being able to provide some comfort to families in mourning.

“I am absolutely loving the role and have just finished my deconstruction of my fifth wedding gown which has resulted in 75 finished gowns,” she said.

“I have also contributed 50 nappies, 25 various size wraps and 25 cocoon style wraps for the tiny babies.”

Ms Prout said donations of prepaid postage satchels or stamps, sewing supplies, white, ivory and pastel ribbons, braids, motifs and soft lining fabrics were always gratefully received.

Families who lose babies from 13 weeks gestation to six months of age are eligible to receive packages put together by the charity’s state and regional managers.

Basic details of people who have contributed to the gift are included in the package.

Launched in 2014 by Bombala’s Sarah McVeigh, Angel Gowns for Australian Angel Babies donates “thousands” of angel gowns each year.

It reports of having deductible gift recipient status which “will relieve the burden on many volunteers who fund much of the costs themselves”.

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