As an avid knitter, a post on one of my favourite knitting Facebook (FB) pages caught my eye because of a mention of Annie Green Court. It’s a local aged care home, which opened here in Redfern in 2013 to provide high quality care for men and women who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and experiencing financial or social disadvantage. So, I took a dive into the link and joined the “Knitting with Jules” FB page.
I was hooked so contacted Jules Buchanan who, after 20 years working as a lawyer, realised her strengths were in project management, so much so that she set about gaining further academic qualifications and recently aced her Masters’ thesis on “Project Management in the Not for Profit Sector” with an HD. A result she underplayed with the quip, “It’s easy to do well when your heart is in it.
“I like to help out where I can,” she said. Over the last 15+ years in her “spare time” she has networked in her local area around Epping/Beecroft to organise food hampers for distribution through organisations like The Smith Family, Sydney Basket project through Bridge Housing and Magic Moments and pre Covid approximately 1,000 hampers went directly to Youth Off the Streets.
“The first knitting project we did was to support Sydney Food Share (SFS). It was just a bunch of winter woollies … [I can’t] even remembered how I got people involved – maybe randoms from KOGO (knit one give one) FB page. The next project was an Indigenous blanket appeal (also for SFS). I ended up with about 30 or 40 blankets.”
Halfway through 2021 when Ronald McDonald House in Orange reached out to her, she set up the Knitting with Jules FB page where generous crafters can vote on who the next recipients of their work will be. Earlier this year it was Charles Chambers Court, in Surry Hills, a 1998 precursor of Annie Green Court. “Membership grew as people were drawn to the cause of creating gifts for people who don’t get a lot of visitors.” In the lead up to Christmas the Annie Green Court project “[FB] membership has exploded to just shy of 400, the cause clearly appealing to a lot of people”.
In June this year she utilised Facebook for good again and set up Helping Hands Food Relief to provide food distribution charities with pre-assembled snack or single meal packs every month.