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Mission Champions Gina and Lois

Mission Champions Gina and Lois

4 July 2019

A bowl of colourful hats and scarves sits on the Hands on Health Clinic counter for clients to take, thanks to Lois who hand-knits them.

Lois, 90, who says knitting has given her a new purpose, first became inspired to knit after her daughter Gina started volunteering at the clinic five years ago.

"This is something I love to spend my time doing for people, especially for people during these cold winter months," Lois says.

"Gina would report to me about her experience volunteering at the Mission to help people, and I suggested knitting scarves and hats for people."

Knitting has since become a family affair. Lois’ sister travels from Tasmania to Melbourne with her woolly creations a few times a year; "She hadn’t knitted for years - now she can’t stop!"

Drawing on her experience working as a fashion designer, Lois has a keen eye for style and combines bright colours to make eye-catching designs.

She also buys the wool from our op shops; "This is another lovely way to support the Mission," Lois says./p>

"People love trying them on, choosing colours, it feels good for them. Men like the AFL footy colours, so I am trying to knit more of them too."

Liu Ponomarew, Hands on Health Coordinator, says our clients love trying on the hats and scarves.

"One day a client came into the clinic, and when she saw the beautiful coloured scarves she was transformed," Liu says

"Just the fact that she had options to choose from, too - the look of joy on her face as she tried on different scarves was lovely to see.

“People are so grateful for the free scarves and beanies. I have seen how their faces light up when they walk away with a new scarf."

Over the years, people have left letters for Lois to say thank you for her thoughtful knitted garments. While we were talking to Lois, one client thanked her and said, "For me, this is like buying the painting and knowing the author!"

These warm winter presents from a family of generous women are a much-appreciated part of the clinic.

Open weekdays, the clinic offers a wide range of complementary therapies in a warm and welcoming atmosphere to some of the most vulnerable people in our community.

Volunteer with us

If you would like to have some fun, learn a couple of new skills, and help some of the most vulnerable people in our community at the same time, find out the ways you can volunteer with us.

Sacred Heart Mission acknowledges the traditional Aboriginal owners of country throughout Victoria and pays respects to them, their culture and their elders past, present and emerging.


Sacred Heart Mission believes that the diversity of abilities, genders, sexualities, relationship identities, bodies and cultures in our community enriches us all and should be celebrated. Everyone is welcome at our table.