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Pouches for orphan animal babies in Australia

The Zip Yard at intu Milton Keynes is making ‘joey’ pouches for Australian animal babies, and it needs your help!

Staff and volunteers will gather at The Zip Yard on Sunday 19 January, in an effort to craft at least 1,000 pouches to send to Australia for animals left orphaned by the continuing bushfire crisis.

Work has already begun, with staff frantically collecting materials, cutting out templates, sewing pouches and slings, and washing and ironing them ready to be sent to help animals in need.

Young animals such as kangaroos, possums, koalas and wombats need pouches to help them grow and aid their recovery. Without their mothers, they are now relying on hand-stitched pouches from donors around the world. It is estimated that one billion animals have already lost their lives and staff at The Zip Yard want to help.

Help make pouches on Sunday 19 January

From 4pm-8pm on Sunday 19 January, volunteers are invited to pop along to The Zip Yard to lend a hand. You don’t need to have any sewing experience, and you can stay as little or as long as you like. You’ll be helping to sort materials and cut templates ready for The Zip Yard staff to sew, wash, iron and pack.

If you have any fabric scissors at home, it’s a good idea to bring them along to use on the day. But most importantly – just bring lots of enthusiasm!

Make pouches at home

If you can’t come along on the day but are busy making pouches at home, then The Zip Yard can help make sure they get to Australia safely. Drop off your pre-made pouches in the collection bin outside The Zip Yard by Friday 24 January. The Zip Yard will wash, iron and package up your pouches before sending them.

Donate materials

The Zip Yard is also taking material donations at any time so, if you have any old pillowcases or clothes you no longer need, please drop them off between now and Sunday! Ideally, material donations will be washed in advance but don’t worry if not, because every pouch will be washed and ironed before it’s packed up for sending. Each pouch needs three layers of material, so the more material The Zip Yard has, the better.

Russell Golding, owner of The Zip Yard Milton Keynes, said: “Well done to our manager Debbie Steers who spotted the request for crafters to help make pouches for animals affected by the bushfires. It’s a great idea. We’re always looking at ways to upcycle and recycle and, as a team, we are passionate about helping people. We have been blown away by everyone’s kindness and willingness to get involved. Staff and volunteers are donating their time, local stores are supplying materials and packaging, and materials are being sent to us from across the UK. By running this project we’re not only stopping unwanted materials from going to landfill, but we are also making a huge difference to the animals in crisis in Australia and helping to save their lives. Thank you so much to the amazing team at The Zip Yard and to everyone else who is helping too. We hope to see you there on Sunday!”

Kirsty McGiff, marketing manager at intu Milton Keynes, added: “We are very proud of the team at The Zip Yard for all that they are doing! Here at intu Milton Keynes we care greatly for the environment and the world around us and are delighted to see the positive impact that this is making. The local community is really pulling together and it’s wonderful to see.”

The Zip Yard is located at the top of the escalator on the first floor of intu Milton Keynes (near the frog clock).

For more information on the pouch project, visit The Zip Yard Milton Keynes’ Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/zipyardmk/

If you would like to receive a template via email, so make your pouch from home, please get in touch with the team at The Zip Yard via  info@miltonkeynes.thezipyard.co.uk

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