Audrey’s random acts of kindness milestone

Caring crafter Audrey Strong with her daughters Lorraine and Gillian.
Caring crafter Audrey Strong with her daughters Lorraine and Gillian.

This week, the Kiln Lane lady reached a special milestone when she distributed her 2,000th creation with an attached inspirational quote.

What started as a lockdown project has become a labour of love for mother-of-two Audrey.

“Making the 2,000th has brought me every bit as much joy as the very first one I made back in September 2020,” she reflected.

Audrey's 2,000th craft creation which was distributed this week.
Audrey's 2,000th craft creation which was distributed this week.

“I only did it to cheer people up in the beginning and, then, it gathered momentum. Now it’s as much for me as everyone else.”

Audrey, also a talented baker, was a familiar face around local craft fairs. However, her battle with Long Covid has meant she’s had to take life easier.

“I had a wee business going ‘Handmade by Audrey Strong’ and I went round school and church fairs at Christmas time - I did that for about eight years.

“I made birthday cakes throughout the year and, then, Christmas cakes, gingerbread and shortbread.

“In 2021, I had to give it up as my health wouldn’t let me do it - and it broke my heart. But I thought, I'm not giving up my crocheting!

“It’s my hobby and I’ve enjoyed making every single little creation.”

During the pandemic, Audrey was honoured to make precious miniature hearts for Craigavon Area Hospital and the Ulster Hospital.

“A nurse got in touch with me about doing hearts for the hospitals,” she recalled.

“At that stage, because nobody knew what the effects of Covid were, I had to put them up in twos and put them in the freezer for 72 hours, so that I wasn't passing anything on to the hospitals.

“They would have put one heart with whoever had passed away and given the other heart to the family.

“It’s wee things like that which I hope make a difference.”

Audrey says she has no intention of hanging up her crocheting hooks just yet, so keep looking out for her designs in random places in and around Banbridge - and further afield!

“My daughter Lorraine has taken about three dozen of them up to distribute round Portrush, Bushmills and Coleraine,” the local crafter continued.

“If I’m going anywhere, or if my other daughter Gillian is going out for a walk at night she takes a handful of them to leave round the town.

“I just want to bring a smile to people’s faces, that’s the reason behind it all. I don’t do it for any recognition.”

Her 2,000th craft is something special to mark such a significant milestone - a beautiful rainbow with a sunbeam.

Audrey’s daughters are understandably “very proud” of their mum and how her thoughtfulness puts a smile on people’s faces.

Gillian Brown commented: “When mum was in hospital earlier this year, she asked me to bring over some of her wee crocheted items to give to the staff who looked after her so well on the ward.

“At one point, staff members from other wards were coming to see if they could get a little item from her, everything from angels to sunflowers.

“In fact, she has made some little angels for the Neonatal Unit in Craigavon Area Hospital for the families of babies who pass away. It’s always something that means a lot to us as a family.”

Daughter Lorraine Carson added: “Mum takes great pleasure in creating her crocheting pieces and seeing the happiness that they bring. It has helped to keep her spirits up and her outlook positive through her own ill health since Covid.

“Hopefully, her kindness will inspire others to be the same.”