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Lynn Atkinson: Giving Grannies: Westfield Local Heroes 2018

Giving grannies step in with a helping hand

The $10,000 Westfield Local Heroes grant has enabled Giving Grannies to introduce a new service, providing Starter Kits to families in need who have a newborn.

More than 130 of these kits have been distributed to families of newborns.

Lynn Atkinson is motivated by the conviction that every newborn child can use the help of a grannie.

Since 2013, Giving Grannies have been putting together “baby welcome kits” full of essentials such as nappies and clothes to give families in need a helping hand when a new baby is on its way.

From her home in Brisbane’s Centenary suburbs, Giving Grannies also collect pre-loved baby goods like toys, cots and prams to pass on to families who can’t afford them.

“Some people don’t have the support of family around them and we want to make sure that they at least have the basics,” says Lynn.

Together with her husband, Neil, Lynn formed the charity after seeing her own children grow up and learning the importance of support from one generation to the next.

“My own children and grandchildren were very lucky to grow up wanting for nothing but I got quite angry thinking that so many miss out on that,” Lynn says.

As grannies, they’re non-threatening to the young parents they support and sometimes even find themselves giving out “grannie cuddles” while on a visit.

“I think we seem safe and Neil doesn’t mind being a grannie so long as he gets to be Head Grannie,” Lynn says. "It is astounding to be recognised as a Westfield Local Hero. It's the biggest thing that has ever happened to me.”

“We have no funding at all and it’s wonderful to get the community support as well as the money that we’ll be able to put to such good use,” says Lynn.

For further information on the Westfield Local Heroes program, click here.

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