Lorena Ethell has spent the past five years coordinating the Sutherland branch of the Australian Red Cross Trauma Teddies program, and her devotion to the cause has recently seen her rewarded with The Yvonne Kennedy Memorial Trophy.
The Australian Red Cross has been distributing Trauma Teddies to children who are experiencing illness or trauma since 1990 and each year tens of thousands of Trauma Teddies are provided to a number of organisations, including hospitals and pathology services, as well as children affected by emergency situations such as fires, floods or other disasters.
Anyone can knit a Trauma Teddy as long as they adhere to strict criteria, and each completed Trauma Teddy must pass a strict quality inspection for safety before it is distributed.
The Sutherland branch of the Australian Red Cross has distributed more than 70,000 Trauma Teddies since the program began and last financial year alone Ms Ethell oversaw the delivery of 2084 teddies to 18 sites.
A spokeswoman for the Sutherland branch of the Australian Red Cross said Ms Ethell coordinated a group of branch members and other volunteers who knit, assemble and finish more than 2000 Trauma Teddies each year.
She was nominated for the award by Australian Red Cross zone representative Irene Thom.
"Sometimes 100 Teddies at a time come by train from the country and not all are finished. Lorena needs to find finishers for knitted skins and field all sorts of inquiries as well as recruit new knitters and balance supply with demand," Ms Thom said in her nomination.
"Beyond the usual duties, she not only sources wool from donations but also finds sponsorship.
"Much of Lorena's success, apart from hard work, must be attributed to her friendliness and easy-going grace and ability to take everything in her stride."
Ms Ethell was presented with her award at the Australian Red Cross AGM held in October.