Hackney help for animals injured in Australian fires

Brooke Dennis| Pic: Areski Boutraa

A craft studio in Hackney has found an imaginative way of helping the animals injured in the Australian bushfires.

Hundreds of blazes have burnt across Australia, killing at least 28 people and injuring many more. More than 2,000 homes have been destroyed and almost half a billion animals have died.

Brooke Dennis, owner of Make Town craft studio in Chatham Place, Hackney, has run a free workshop to teach people how to sew clothes for animals injured in the devastating bush fires. The idea came after she saw an appeal online from an Aussie rescue group, via their Facebook page Animal Rescue Craft Guild. The aim is to get people to send clothes which will make animals that lost their homes and nests feel more secure while they recover.

Men, women and children showed up to lend a hand and make a difference. People made bat-wraps and joey-pouches from old bedsheets and pillow cases.

The idea is to simulate mothers’ wings and to wrap injured and orphaned bats so they feel safe. Animal Rescue Craft Guild, which has provided the patterns, also has patterns for koala mittens, kitten onesies and wallaby hanging pouches. Many charities in Australia are asking for financial support, but according to Make.Town for those who don’t have the resources this is a great way to support the cause.

Brooke sewing clothes for injured animals.| Pic: Areski Boutraa

Brooke said “The workshop last week was a great success. Over 20 people showed up, however, we only have 8 sewing machines so there was a long production line.”

Brooke is originally from New Zealand so she felt a special connection to the story. She explained that the Australian fires are having a knock on effect in New Zealand as some of her friends were unable to go outside because of the smoke pollution. NASA, the international space agency, says we will all be affected by this smoke eventually as it is expected to make at least one full circuit around the globe. “Once in the stratosphere, the smoke can travel thousands of miles from its source, affecting atmospheric conditions globally,” NASA said.

Brooke will be traveling to New Zealand in the next few days and will take some of the animal garments with her to send on to Australia. But she is not able to carry them all, she said so has asked friends travelling to Australia in the coming weeks to carry some in their own luggage.

For more information see the make.town website. Contact them on 020 8985 6347 or email them on hi@make.town


  1. ralder January 23, 2020
  2. Linda Lewis January 24, 2020

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