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By Loving Hands, Jul 24 2015 09:36AM

We received a lovelly post on our Forum from Africamama, with her latest update from Gambia.

"Many thanks to Cherryl Graham for her ongoing support in getting together lots of knitted and crocheted baby clothes, blankets and toys to go to Gambia. We are still supporting many there. In June we shipped the Loving Hands donations also new and used clothes, new flip-flops and childrens shoes, medicines and first aid equipment, wearable used football tops, and school supplies including sturdy plastic re-usable cutlery (less this time as the schools there have just broken up for the holidays). Just about anything we can afford to buy or which has been donated to us. We love what we do!

I' attach a collage of photos taken at Wullingkamma village clinic which is ran by Registered Charity SAAMA, Supporting Academic And Medical Access. As you can see, the clinic gives out Baby Bags to newborns and needy little ones on a weekly basis. I hear some heart wrenching stories about those who come to clinic. Some walk for miles to go there. Nurse G, the head nurse there gets particularly upset about the orphans brought in by struggling relatives who have taken them in. One child who came recently was very underweight and the Mother had died of AIDS. There is a low AIDS rate in Gambia but when these things happen it can be upsetting for staff there. Baby is being cared for well now with the clinic's help but will need to be HIV tested when he is a bit older. Another lady walked miles when she heard of the kindness of SAAMA staff at the Wullingkamma Clinic as she is a grandmother who cares for an orphaned baby. Just a few months old, the child was brought there wrapped in just a piece of cloth as she had no clothes for the baby. Her money was going on buying powdered baby milk, and she was really struggling to get that. When we heard this many of us donated some money to provide for the baby's food. Thanks to the generosity of the regular supporters the Clinic could also afford to offer the Grandmother free medical care for this year. It is a privilege to support this much needed work. The fish'n'chips jumpers, cardigans, knitted vests, crocheted blankets and toys made by Loving Hands Carrickfergus are really appreciated, much needed and we will continue to support the Clinic.

Besides this, my husband is planning on going on another trip to Batti village as the needs there have to be seen to be believed. We are also thinking ahead to doing a Christmas visit. I don't know of any child there who has actually had a Christmas! Shoebox Appeals don't reach isolated villages in the bush, if they even go to Gambia at all. We have lots to do!

Schools are out but Meta, the Head Teacher of Iri-du Nursery School in Kololi has mentioned the need for play resources. I've seen "dress up" outfits for children made out of pillow cases and small remnants of fabric, so that is something I will look into. Of course, some Loving Hands knitted Rainbow Babies and Crocodiles etc would be very well received there.

I can't thank everyone enough for caring enough to make things for children in Gambia. It is the poorest country in Africa and the poverty there is undescribable. Every little helps and many people doing a little can make a big difference. Thank you and keep on creating!"

By Loving Hands, Jul 24 2015 09:27AM

An open Thank You blog from Operation Orphan , shared on our Forum by Kate Gaunt, from Shires Group. Kate appeared in The Sun Appeal for Knitters for Nepal.

"Jul 23, 2015

I am aware that I can’t thank each of you personally, but you need to know that we are completely overwhelmed by the support you have shown to Keep a Child Warm over the last four years. It began with a simple request (to Loving Hands) for blankets during our first distribution and ever since, the blankets, hats, mittens and scarves have not stopped coming! This year, thanks to the knitting appeal in The Sun Newspaper, we have received more than ever. This is terrific news, as we are sending lots of aid to Nepal on top of our usual European commitments, and blankets (especially larger sizes) meet a real need here.

As well as people sending in their lovingly produced items, we have some hand delivered and it’s great for us to meet the people behind the knitting! Kate Gaunt, who represents The Shires Loving Hands group, has been delivering boxes throughout the year as well as many visits from various Knit & Natter groups. During Packing Week, we had a visit with a very full car from the lovely Janet Beilsten.Knit for Nepal Delivery July 2015

Janet organised a Knit for Nepal event on Facebook and ended up with hundreds of lovely items which arrived just in time. We have also had many bags of donations from the Corsham Knitting and Crocheting Group and Brad was lucky enough to have tea and cake with the lovely ladies!

Whether you have been mentioned personally or not, please be assured that we are grateful for every single person who helps us to Keep a Child Warm by knitting warm hats, scarves, gloves and blankets.

Our on-going need is for larger sized blankets, and more of the same hats, mittens and scarves. Feedback from last years distribution was that teenagers take a liking to the darker items, particularly the boys. So if you are planning to knit for next years appeal, please please could you look out for black, navy or grey wool to produce larger beanies and items for the older boys. This will help them to feel comfortable and fit in with their peers which I am sure you will agree is really important.

Thanks again for supporting Keep a Child Warm.



By Loving Hands, Jul 9 2015 08:55AM

On 5th January 2015, Linda (Lndyf) set up a "Do a Square a Week" challenge, which quite a few Members have been doing. It's never to late to join in this challenge and other crochet and knit along challenges Linda has set. To find out more, click here!

By Loving Hands, Jul 4 2015 08:28AM

Thank you to Morag on the Forum for telling us about this Project!

Janet Renoulf-Miller is a textile designer, mainly yarn, who is cycling around Scotland offering free classes/ workshops in exchange for meal and overnight accommodation.

Information is available on her web-page http://www.createwithfibre.co.uk. The project is called Knit 1 Bike 1. She is offering a class in Mallaig on Tuesday, 14th July.

Janet will be staying with Morag for three nights and will write a few sentences after her visit and work-shop.

By Loving Hands, Jul 4 2015 08:14AM

Thanks to Emma on the Forum for passing on information about this great project . . . . .

"There is a lovely website called Makingforcharity which is always on the lookout for people who can sew to make syringe driver bags. These are bags hospitals and hospices use for patients who need to use a syringe driver (sometimes even 2 drivers) to help with their pain relief, usually those folk having palliative care who are terminally ill.

Julie at Makingforcharity sends out starter kits on request and can help you to find a contact at a local hospice or hospital which will gladly take the bags from you. Apparently they can only be used by one patient due to infection control so there is a constant need. They are so simple even I can make them and I had to blow years of dust off my sewing machine!

This site is well worth a look, they also take knitted pounches so a loved one's rings and things can be returned to a family member in something other than an envelope. Please check it out ladies.