Buttons and Bows Lancaster UK Information Sheet November 2020

Here are some beautiful young ladies from one of the rural orphanages in Zambia where Paul& Winnie Banda delivered our dresses and other gifts. Ladies at the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital in Ethiopia wearing their special blankets with pride.


Doctor Catherine Hamlin, the founder of the work, passed away this spring at the age of 96, leaving a legacy of better Obstetric care throughout the country. These ladies are given new hope and a fresh start. Their hope is to eradicate these injuries to women and girls throughout Ethiopia. The squares that are knitted are made up into large blankets which are given to the girls after surgery.

A report by Judith Watson that was published in The Lancaster Guardian. ‘Collection Day’ Buttons and Bows hosted an afternoon at Slyne with Hest Memorial Hall on October 13th. This was a successful afternoon as many supporters attended to hand in their finished handmade items which Buttons and Bows can now send on to the appropriate organisations. A large variety of items quickly appeared; hats, scarves, mittens, jumpers, blankets, patchwork quilts, toys, dresses, and shorts. Christmas shoeboxes filled with recommended items will be taken to International Aid Trust (Preston). They will be taken to Eastern Europe by truck. A first for our group this year was making drawstring bags (like a pump bag) and filling them with crayons, colouring books, warm hats, gloves and small toys. These will be distributed to refugee children in this country. A number of large blankets were received, these are sent to a Fistula Hospital in Addis Ababa. A total of 18 large bags were filled by the ladies working inside the hall. Two of these were filled with blankets which will be sent to the Hospice in Moldova, two were filled with warm clothes for children which will be sent to the Jacob Centre in Moldova. Both these organisations were visited by Susan, Freda and Judith in October last year. A bag of knitted squares was shared out among a few ladies.These have now been sewn together into several blankets and will be sent with the others. Two more bags of blankets and clothes were donated the following day. Donations of cash will cover the hire of the hall, any postage costs and the cost of transporting the bags to the Goods for Good collection centre in Watford. All the ladies kept to the current restrictions, and filled the bags as items came in, the doors opened at 1pm and by 3.30pm, everything was packed up and tables sanitised. A very big thank you has to go to everyone who brought or sent their lovely handmade items, everyone will make a difference to a child or adult when they know that someone, somewhere cares about them. A thank you also goes to the whole community for their support and kindness. Thank you. A total of twenty-three bags, a box of knitting needles, one sewing machine, one overlocker, one bag of material was gifted and delivered to ‘Goods for Good’. Our first collection day was both peaceful and efficient. Our goods were delivered to Watford and were received by ‘Goods for Goods’ (Global) who will distribute them to those in need.

Rosalind Bluestone the founder of this charity wrote to us thanking everyone for the items produced, stating that together we will make a difference We will aim to have another collection day sometime in February 2021. The date will be confirmed nearer the time. The method of making and storing them at home until collection day worked well. Could we repeat that practice again?

Since our donations have been taken to Watford ‘Goods for Good’ have make a statement that because for restrictions at customs, their overseas distributions are to be suspended until further notice. However, we have been reassured that our work will be distribute correctly. International Aid Trust Warehouse at Preston is also closed for the time being, so we are unable to take our shoe boxes. They will inform us when they reopen. Our collection day was timely as we were able to complete our task before tighter controls were enforced. Covid regulation still make meeting together impossible but we do not want anyone to feel lonely or isolated. If you wish to speak with someone feel free to write an email or telephone.

Please note my new email address : My old address will no longer reach me. Tel: 01524 823928 Once again, may I thank everyone for your ongoing support. Perhaps we are all wondering what Christmas will hold this year. Maybe because it will be simple the true meaning will be celebrated. We trust that the wonderful message of the Christmas story, peace and goodwill to all men might be shown. Can I be the first to wish you all a very Happy Christmas. Take care, keep safe with best wishes.

 Susan Rae