The Carrickfergus group is more a drop off point, Cheryl looks after donations but there is no formal arrangement for a meeting. Carrickfergus are very proactive in supporting a project in Gambia run by a Loving Hands member Africamama. Here is an quote from a recent letter to Cheryl following a recent donation from Carrickfergus to Batti Village, Gambia . . .
"Thanks to Cherryl Graham and all the Loving Hands Carrickfergus members who have helped me support the neediest of people in the poorest country in Africa.
I have recently returned from there having met with the heads of a charity I support there, schools Head teachers, Clinic Managers, Church elders and others to fact find in order to ensure that my husband and I can do our best to meet ongoing needs there, which are many!
We travelled in sweltering 42 degrees centigrade heat on a 9 hour journey to an island village called Batti. That is my husband's birth village and his 100 year old Father is the village elder there.
I ship Loving Hands knitwear to Gambia on a monthly basis when I can, and take some when I go there. We had difficulties getting photos there as the heat affected my camera and Omar's kept jamming, but we did get some good photos of the children receiving their Loving Hands clothing and knitted teddies.
We also saw others wearing some which went there on previous distributions, which was great. Some of the knitted tops were also taken to another village upriver by an amazing blind British lady called Anne who knits for children there too. We gave her some to add to those she had made and were also amazed that she could figure out the pattern of the tops just by feeling the stitches. Wow!
Church of Christ and a charity called SAAMA also get some of the baby knits and crocheted blankets from Loving Hands to add to what I and others make for me to ship there. Arribaja Clinic in Wullingkamma village gives out "baby bags" on Fridays at Mother and Baby Days. These contain new and used baby clothes, knitwear from Loving Hands Carrickgergus and also crocheted blankets that SAAMA's "Granny Squares" members (including me) make for the babies.
The items made by Loving Hands are really appreciated and much needed. Parlour Yarns Carrickfergus has also donated wool for me to make baby things to go there, which is greatly appreciated.
We all recently got a mention in a Stylecraft Newsletter since we use their fantastic DK Yarn."