Local Resident Named as ‘Good Human of the Week’


Glenmore Park resident Debbie O’Connor and her team at The Creative Fringe have been bringing warmth and comfort to some of our most disadvantaged community members by way of knitted blankets, created and donated by complete strangers…. and it seems we weren’t the only ones interested in this story!

Channel 10’s morning talk show ‘Studio 10’ got wind of the “Think Outside the Square” knitting challenge that has been facilitated by The Creative Fringe. Impressed with this initiative and the incredible results of the challenge, which was supported by so many locals’, the Studio 10 producer called Debbie to ask if she’d be featured in their ‘Good Human of the Week’ segment.

Over the past 3 years that Debbie and her team have been running this challenge, they have donated over 220 blankets to local charities. Blankets that have been made with love by supportive knitters and crocheters from all over the country. Packages from as far as Darwin, Wagga Wagga and the Central Coast have arrived with bundles of squares ready to be sewn, or even fully completed blankets. It’s one thing to knit all the squares however, the mammoth task of sewing them all together once again relies on the goodness of the volunteers.

“It is incredibly humbling to see such support from our community” commented Debbie O’Connor. “We could never have envisioned such success when we decided to do this. Our goal was to donate 5 blankets that first year, yet we managed to donate 49! We honestly had no idea what a huge impact this would make”.

On Friday 13th September, the camera crew from Studio 10 came to The Creative Fringe and interviewed Debbie live for their ‘Good Human of the Week’ segment.

Growing up in a close-knit town in South Africa, Debbie was raised in an environment that bands together in times of adversity which is why she opened Penrith’s most awarded co-working space, to support small businesses in a community environment. Through The Creative Fringe and their ethos of being ‘Co-workers with a Conscience’, she has been able to support other local charities in various ways. The “Think Outside the Square” challenge is by far the most successful.

Giving back to the community that she has called home for the past 20 years was never for the fame or notoriety, but it seems that word really does spread quickly to the unlikeliest of places when such selfless acts are displayed.

This year’s challenge may be over but not for long. The 2020 “Think Outside the Square” challenge will be back and better than ever, starting 1st May, so feel free to keep knitting or crocheting for that.

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