Shirley Burns, Rachel Madden, Therese Dunnill, Yvonne Burns, Lynne White, Vera White, Heather Jackson, Sally Win and Michelle Collier. Others involved but not pictured are Beryle Smith, Heather Burns, Gloria Lineham, Diane Beatty and Linda Homan. Photo: Andrew Board.

Jam for ‘lovelies’

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“Lovely people” might find a sweet surprise in their staff rooms this week as part of a drive to spread the love and help put a smile on the faces of those who deserve it most.
The project is the brainchild of Michelle Collier who wanted to acknowledge those who go beyond the call of duty in their workplace.  She calls it “The Loveliness
Project” and along with friend Linda Homan, convinced their mothers and a dozen of their mothers’ friends to make jars of jam to deliver to staff rooms of those who deserve it.
“It started when I was at the hospital and in stressful situations and the nurses there just went out of their way, beyond the call of duty, to help. Just a touch or a word here and there, it makes such a difference and I wanted to acknowledge those people. I know they get paid but they go beyond the call of duty.”
But it wasn’t just the hospital nurses in her sights.
Michelle also wanted to spread a bit of love to social workers and others who went out of their way and says by just having something like homemade jam for them to use in their staff room might go some way to returning the favour.
“When I worked at Te Korowai Trust I was often rushing around meeting people in really stressful situations and often you wouldn’t have time for lunch. I remember a lovely lady Denise used to bring in homemade feijoa jam and chutney for the staff room and it was just really nice to come in and have something like that when you’ve been working flat out.”
The dozen jam makers were recruited after being invited to a high tea by Michelle and Linda.
There they told them the real reason they were invited along and Michelle says most of them came on board and began to source fruit and jam recipes and got to work.
Now they have 120 jars, each with the words “Lovely Jam for Lovely People” which will be distributed from this week.
Michelle says she hopes it will bring a smile to some people.
“I just want them to realise that what they do is really important and it is appreciated,” she says.