July 2015: Inspired by Edward

From the Market Drayton Advertiser 16th July 2015

Remember how Young Edward Talbot made a blanket and sent it to Africa where it was given to a newborn baby boy, and his mother called her son Edward, in his honour?

Well, here's the sequel......

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                                            A Letter from Barbara

To all our wonderful knitters.

It is only a few months since I wrote to you, saying that, with regret, we were having to cease the Mama Bag scheme and the collections of shoes, because of the increased costs and difficulties of shipping to Kenya.

As many of you are aware, we did send some of our stocks of lovely knits and blankets for babies to Eastern Europe and to disaster areas like Dominica etc. We have been working with PR House, our efficient packing and warehousing facility, and with other contacts, and we now have the opportunity to collect knitted goods and other clothing for the comfort and relief of people in Syria.

Some of our stocks of baby clothing and blankets, together with the shoes we couldn’t ship to Kenya, have already been received in Syria and have been greatly welcomed.

To that end I am now asking that if you would like to help with this project we should be delighted to receive your knitting again.

Their requirements are slightly different, as you would expect.

They would like:   1. Bed blankets.   These can be 2 blankets 1m square stitched together. Mixed colours and designs are fine. If the sewing is a problem, then please send as singles and we will sew together.   Crocheted blankets are excellent.

2.  Jumpers, Scarves and Hats to fit from primary children up to and including Adult would make such a difference to their lives. Any other knits are good too, I mention jumpers as they are easier than cardigans. Their needs are manifold.

If you are a member of a group and there is a knitter who only wishes to knit for babies, then that is fine. They do need some baby sizes, but obviously need larger sizes as well.

Due to the kindness of the staff at PR House, they are happy to receive all parcels so please send by post, carrier or pigeon! Or by hand to:

Greenfields Africa, PR House, Hortonwood 30, Telford TF1 7ET

Please enclose an envelope with your name/e mail/tel no included as well as any donation you are able to make to Greenfields Africa. I shall then, weekly, respond to acknowledge safe arrival. Cash in the envelope will be quite safe and very much welcomed for the continued work of Greenfields Africa.

(If it is easier for you to continue to deliver to our house at Market Drayton, then that is fine. I shall deliver to Telford on my weekly visit.)    Shoes and 2nd hand clothes would be valued too, but I am conscious they will be expensive for you to send and perhaps are only suitable donations for those who live nearer enough to deliver by hand to Telford or Market Drayton.


I would remind you again that the work of Greenfields Africa continues in Kenya, The hospital is working towards becoming self-sufficient in 2017, the Jiggers programme is achieving an 85% healing rate, and making a big difference to children’s lives and the girls continue to receive Girls’Gear and so avoid having to miss school on a monthly basis.  We are about to help 5 of our students who left their 4 years at Secondary School in Dec 2106 to go to college or University for 3 or 4 years. We have 7 students just starting their final year at secondary school.  One student is beginning his 2nd year at College studying Engineering and another is about to begin a 4 year course at Medical School.  All your donations will help with the costs of the collections scheme and the further education project.  We feel it continues the ethos of Greenfields Africa of working with those who are in desperate need.

We are very grateful for the help and support you have shown Greenfields Africa over the last years, both with your hard work and generosity, and will be glad if you feel able to continue to do so. We do realise that you may have other projects to knit for and we shall understand if this deviation from the original Mama Bag scheme is not for you.

Please let me know your thoughts and comments.

Best wishes,


Barbara Hatton