FRIDAY afternoons used to be slow for Gordon Goddard.
A tri-weekly patient at Warrnambool Base Hospital’s haemodialysis unit since September last year, Mr Goddard, 72, used to spend his Friday afternoon session watching television or listening to an iPod.
But since the hospital introduced weaving sessions, the time has passed a lot quicker.
With guidance from nationally-regarded weaver Marie Cook of Warrnambool, he has already woven a pouch to hold a mobile phone for his wife, who was recovering from a leg injury, and his latest project is perhaps even more altruistic.
Although a Hawthorn supporter himself, he is weaving a doll in Geelong colours for his niece, a Cats supporter, to thank her for the care she has given both his wife and himself during their treatment.
Weaving items in AFL colours has been a popular pastime for many of the male patients during their regular Friday afternoon dialysis sessions.
But another of the unit’s regulars, Melissa Duff, has instead woven a variety of handbags for family and friends.
Ms Duff said the workshops had sparked a love for weaving and she now did it at home as well.
The weaving tuition has been provided free by the Australian Tapestry Workshop through its “Weaving into Wellbeing” program.
Haemodialysis unit associate manager Pat Edney said the workshops were a way of relieving what was sometimes a boring time for patients, many of whom spent up to five hours a day, three times a week at the unit.
Warrnambool Base Hospital community partnerships manager Suzan Morey said the hospital was fortunate to be the only regional Victorian hospital involved in the “Weaving into Wellbeing” program — the other three hospitals taking part being located in Melbourne.
Ms Morey said the workshops built upon the good relationship the hospital had with the tapestry group, which previously created the tapestry Concerning the wading birds of the Warrnambool wetlands in the hospital foyer.