When a charity works to help charities, you know it can only be a positive move and not one that is started to flood the market of yet another charity.

The Sewing Lair is a community space where strangers become friends in a matter of minutes and while they are all chatting away, they are working on projects to help other charities.

The Lair is a place you can learn new skills, create with purpose, create positive change in the community and shop for supplies and handmade gifts.

Cass Gell oversees the whole operation and leads her team of volunteers who enjoy coming in and getting things done. They might be working in the op shop or sewing on the machines, either way they are there because they want to help.

Due to COVID hitting in the weeks after opening their new store in early 2020, Cass had to create a new plan to keep the doors open. They decided to create an online fabric shop op shop which soon became the biggest in Australia. This has helped keep the doors open and still provides income now, keeping one volunteer very busy.

Recently the Sewing Lair applied for a Gambling Community Benefit Fund grant and were successful to the tune of $25,000. This funding will allow the Lair to purchase an industrial embroidery machine.

“What receiving this grant means for us is a few things,” said Cass.

“One is we make a lot of special needs items so we will be able to make more of a volume to donate, it will also mean that we can make more of the regular items such as soft toys and all those things that kids need to feel comfort.

“In addition to that it will also help us diversify our income stream because I believe that charities should be able to support themselves as much as possible, so an embroidery machine will help us run a small business while still being run by volunteers.”

The other exciting news the Sewing Lair has is they will be starting a youth group for young adults aged 12 – 17.

“One of our supporters has come onboard to run the youth group which is called Create and we hope to run it with Logan City Council support free of charge.

“It will be open to anyone in that age bracket no matter if they are in school, out of school, at risk, needs support, wants to learn a new skill, wants to hang out, this will be their place.

“They will be focusing on arts and everything creative including painting, sewing, art journaling, beading, costumes, and whatever they are into we will foster that.

“If these kids aren’t sporty or not into a particular religion, they don’t always have a place to gather in a safe environment.”

The Create youth group will be run on the first and third Friday nights starting November.

To find out more about the youth group or anything the Sewing Lair does you can email hello@thesewinglair.com.au or jump on their Facebook page.

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