Sheila Cutmore is an amazing woman who loves to share her skills and knowledge with others. Both Sheila and her husband Kevin have called Living Choice Alloura Waters home for the past five years.
It was back in 1991, when Sheila was a member of the Hallikalani View Club, that a speaker from the Salvation Army told the group how she was in charge of the female rehabilitation program for drug, alcohol and gambling addicts. Sheila recalls how she was immediately interested in helping this group, even though she had never been involved with or had experience in this field before.
Not long after this encounter Sheila and Kevin tragically lost their son.
“My grief was heavy but the thought of helping others made it easier to continue my life without our eldest son. I contacted the group and my offer to teach was accepted,” said Sheila.
“I was put into a class to teach 40 students, in groups of 10 and I loved every minute. I was privileged to be able to help these ladies with rebuilding their self-esteem, at the same time teaching new skills.
“We started with easy projects like sewing, knitting and painting. All the classes were set at the same time, so I found it easier to put all the different projects into kits. After building up confidence we went on to making large teddy bears. My husband was roped in to make the joints for the bears. The girls and I had a great time dressing and creating very individual cuddly bears.
“When the Rehab moved to Dooralong, I arranged for the girls to come to the Salvation Army at Long Jetty, once a week. I combined the Rehab group with the older ladies and was able to expand the crafts we taught, thankfully due to the larger premises.
“As you can imagine I have a lot of stories to tell from my 20 years of teaching in the Rehab - some sad memories, but lots of happy memories of so much shared laughter and love of good fellowship. I thank God all the time for giving me a talent that I can share with others.”
Sheila and Kevin also started a dedicated Cancer Hat group five years ago. “We eventually became accredited by the Cancer Council, and were actually acknowledged in parliament last year,” said Sheila.
Thank you for sharing your story with us Sheila. We wish you and all the craft ladies well and thank you for all you do for the community.