WITH the lockdown preventing her from working, Bathurst business woman and mum Kathleen Fearn is using her spare time to create hampers to bring some joy to people who need in-home care.
She is off to a good start, but now she hopes more community members can join the initiative by donating items to include in the hampers.
The idea was initially sparked by a Facebook post she made on the Bathurst Our Town Facebook page, with the original intention to make hampers for people in aged care facilities or in hospital during the lockdown.
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However, Mrs Fearn's focus has switched to people with in-home care arrangements.
"I started emailing out to in-home care. I went from aged care and hospitals and I'm leaning towards in-home care now, just because I realised people at home are the ones who don't have those people to come visit them and they don't have the nurses 24/7, they only have people coming every now and then," she said.
She has started a Facebook group, called Bathurst covid donations, and has put the call out for donations.
People who are willing to help can post in the group to arrange a way to get the donations to Mrs Fearn, otherwise they can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
She is seeking donations of toiletries and items that can be considered treats, such a chocolate.
"A lot of these people, they already have the helpers that will do their shopping for them, so they don't need staples, they need something so they can feel like people are thinking about them," she said.
She is also working with Imagine Childcare on the hamper initiative, with the children at the centre drawing pictures of things they want to do when they get out of lockdown.
The pictures will be included in the hampers.
Mrs Fearn also runs Central Tablelands Cleaning and her staff are helping her put together the hampers.
"Another reason I'm doing this is we lost a lot of work with COVID and I thought 'Well, I have this extra time, I might as well put it to use'. And I've been approved for the Job Saver [payments] from Service NSW, so to help my staff out I'm giving them extra hours helping me," she said.
"That way, they get extra hours and I'm getting the government funding to pay them, so it benefits everyone."
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