Faye Packham has combined motherhood, quilting and Bedford Ambassadorship to make an outstanding impact on the Bedford community.
Faye’s involvement with Bedford came when her daughter Lauren, who was born with an intellectual disability, participated in Bedford’s Work Experience Program in 2003. Lauren soon gained employment through Bedford, eventually culminating in her completion of a Business Certificate II and competing as a Special Olympian in basketball.
Faye could see how Bedford was improving Lauren’s confidence and independence, motivating her to give back to an organisation that had supported her family so much. What better way to contribute, she thought, than through her biggest passion - quilting!
In 2008, Faye, with quilting companion Lessa Siegele and the SA Quilters Guild committee, established the Mystery Quilting Challenge to raise funds for Bedford. The challenge was open to participants of any skill level and involved purchasing a quilting kit and completing the quilt with a design that only materialised once the quilt was completed.
Faye and the committee sent their kits and conducted hundreds of quilting workshops across the nation, raising thousands of dollars annually for Bedford. Meanwhile, the completed quilts were generously donated to charity.
With the continuing success of her Quilting Challenges, Faye assumed the role of a valued Bedford Ambassador, contributing to raising awareness about Bedford in the community. This was all while she was an active member of the Bedford Family Network, providing an important perspective as a parent of a person living with disability.
After 14 incredible years of service, and 7,000 quilting kits sold, Faye and the SA Quilters Clayton’s Committee hung up the quilting needle after raising an astonishing $350,000 for Bedford!
These funds went towards improving Bedford’s capacity to provide training and employment opportunities and financed various projects, including a dance and music studio, art room, pottery studio, kitchen and outdoor garden area.
The most rewarding part of the journey for Faye was seeing the direct impact the fundraising efforts made on the lives of the people at Bedford.
Today, Faye remains a passionate active Bedford Ambassador and Bedford Family Network member, while Lauren recently celebrated a remarkable 20-year work anniversary at Bedford.
Faye's quilting challenges remain one of the largest fundraising contributors in Bedford’s history. Her dedication to supporting Bedford through her hobby and passion saw her awarded both a Bedford Honorary Life Membership and a prestigious national award from Quilters Australia.
Faye encourages others in the community to become involved with Bedford in ways that work for them; “You feel like you’re truly contributing. The feeling that you get from giving is wonderful, it’s a big commitment, but very rewarding,” Faye says.