STITCH FOR PLEASURE, STITCH FOR CHARITY
Hi to old friends and new Aunty Jane signing in with a new newsletter update, to keep you updated with what is happening at SFPSFC.
I’m Jane Jibb, better known as Aunty Jane. I’m married to Ken and we have two grown up monsters…oops kids and I’m a grandmother of 7 little darlings, 4 girls and 3 boys, one of whom has special needs. I’m a Nursery Nurse having worked with children with profound needs, a crafter and now carer for my hubby who is no longer able to work due to health problems. We live in the pretty city of York in the UK. For many years I worked and made garments for the children of Hob Moor Oaks School here in the city of York. Hob Moor Oaks is a special needs school providing education and care for children with profound needs.
SFPSFC is a non-profit internet based crafting, stitching, knitting and chat group set up to help babies and children in urgent need all around the world. We welcome new crafters or people who genuinely want to help.
WHAT WE DO
We make bibs, blankets, quilts, garments and small soft toys from donated and bought fabrics, wools and threads.
WHERE DO OUR FINISHED CRAFTS GO
We are presently working on several crafting projects which are:
Quilts, knitted blankets, garments and clothing for Rachel’s Pace, a children’s orphanage situated in Lesotho, South Africa, which opened in September 2010.
Crafted and bought garments and soft toys for the baby pack project, Lesotho, South Africa.
Large bibs, aprons and cuddle blankets for the children at Hob Moor Oaks in the UK.
Angel wear and garments for the babies who grow wings before arriving here on earth, at present these items go to the Derby SCBU and Preemiesuk, both situated in the UK.
Special request quilts, which can be requested by parents and the family of children who have profound needs. If you would like to request a quilt for a child less than 17 years of age, please contact Aunty Jane at
Chat board http://stitch4charity.proboards.com/index.cgi
HOW YOU CAN HELP
We really need your help to keep us going Your donations however small help us to keep costs down … it costs a lot of money to make garments and quilts. We don’t charge for our crafts but we do always need help with buying fabrics, wool, yarns and postage.
Whatever you’re crafting or chatting skills we welcome you to come and join us at SFPSFC.
One of our many projects supports an orphanage named Rachel’s Place in Lesotho, South Africa; please join me while I tell you a little about how we work with this orphanage, how it started, how it is continuing and future plans.
Rachel’s Place - How it all began
Our involvement with Rachel’s Place began by chance when I took a parcel to a little post office in the Acomb district of York. I got chatting to the lady behind the counter and enthusiastically took the address which was offered this lead me to a lady called Valerie Bailey and the baby pack project this became the goal of the group.
In 2009 Val told me about the building of Rachel’s Place and how the name came about. Rachel was a youngster knocked down and killed in Val’s home country the year before. Rachel’s place was being hand built by her husband Davey and a gang of enthusiastic helpers using handmade bricks using local sand and no electricity.
Rachel’s place is a 50 bed children’s orphanage for the youngsters who have nothing, not even clothing; Lesotho is very poor and is very cold in winter and hot in summer, it’s sad but true that the youngsters can go days without proper food.
Our involvement with Rachel’s Place
This project has my support 200%, I’m not rich, in fact quite the opposite, my crafting and chatting skills are the only way I can help, so I stepped in and offered to quilt the first 50 quilts for the new bunk beds. My plan was to enlist crafters to help make the squares and Angie, another star, gave up all her own plans to quilt up 25 of the quilts in 5 months.
I met Val and Janet for the first time in July 2010 when I handed over some of our crafts and donations. Val has family in Northern Ireland and had to return there due to family illness; Janet lives not far from Val’s family home. I decided to save costs I would take everything over to Val and she then provided a container to ship everything to Lesotho. On 22nd July 2010, Ken and I loaded the car to the hilt with 25 of the quilts and 30 big boxes of garments and Christmas boxes for the kiddies along with our hold all’s (no space left for our suitcases).
Because of Ken’s illness we had to take the trip slowly, however the trip from York to Birkenhead was uneventful as was our overnight stay, but the next morning we got lost going to the ferry. It was an early start so we didn’t need this but we eventually found our way and got on to boat. This trip took 8 hours and I had forgotten to bring any of my crafts with me, except one free cross stitch kit with a broken needle. I found a fellow crafter who was a quilting teacher, who was making some fantastic squares, so cheekily I borrowed a needle from her. Imagine no knitting to do on a long journey to help pass the time productively.
At 6.30 we arrived in Northern Ireland where we were met by Janet, who took us to her house and gave us tea, then took us to our guest house. This was my first meeting with Janet who now crochets up all our knitted and crocheted baby squares. Janet is an absolute star, thank you for all your hard work in helping us to help these babies who are in so much need.
Janet made us very welcome, picking us up each morning and returning us to our guest house at night. We were able to visit Armagh, eating and drinking all things Irish and crafting except for the day we handed over our items to Valerie Bailey …. Ask Janet about that story, lol. So began the close relationship we continue to share today.
Well what can I say, I am so pleased that I got the chance to meet her face to face, we stay in touch via Face book, but this was a zillion times better, honestly she is so kind and genuine. We talked for over 4 hours about the projects and what help we as a group could provide.
About the work that Val and Davy do and learnt that Rachel had died in a spot not far from where Janet lives, so this makes things more personal for me and Janet.
Handing over the quilts - this was a story on its own, for the first few days of our stay, Janet and I had talked and talked with Janet wanting to see out quilts and me wanting to see the baby blankets, which meant unpacking and packing the car several times, not an easy task. The poor gents just watched the football and made cups of tea, Trevor also cooked a mean breakfast and an Irish stew to die for.
Like Me Janet is crafting continuously and has won lots of prizes at local shows as her work is really good.
When Val arrived at our guest house on Thursday, Janet and I were crafting, Janet crocheting borders and me trying my best to stitch with huge butterflies in my tummy.
We unloaded the car for the umpteenth time and Janet was able to see more of the quilts, so we were both busy with our cameras taking pictures, then Val took pictures, boy was she impressed! We even had a lady from Canada stop to see what was going on lol. Val reloaded her car to the hilt and I took one final pic before she set off back. The next day I got a text from Val to say our quilts had done the rounds, Val was impressed and so was her family, Well Done everyone, I’m sure the kiddies will love them and be impressed too.
Val gave me a disc on which she had recorded some of her projects, her church and the children; it was only yesterday that I managed to hear for myself what it’s really like for the children in Lesotho. Thank you Val for your hard work, your care and your friendship.
Huge hugs Jane and the gang xx
June 2011 - my second meeting with Val
I’ve just returned from another meeting with Val and Janet in Northern Ireland when I handed over another 21 hand crafted quilts, knitted blankets and cardigans all made by members of our SFPSFC group. I was also able to hand over another 30 boxes of clothing, shoes and Christmas boxes to be put on a container for the children of Rachel’s place. The container is now full and is closed and on its way to the children, all of these items and many more have been donated and are very much appreciated. THANK YOU to all who helped in any way at all, I couldn’t do it without each and every one of you!
Recent news from Rachel’s Place
The first children who arrived in Rachel’s Place have all now settled well and we continue to help with hand knitted garments to clothe the children. In recent months, there have been 8 new arrivals at the orphanage, each of whom needed new clothing as when they arrive at the orphanage they have only the clothes they arrive in, which is often in a poor condition. It really does take very little to help these children, if you can knit or stitch please do join us in helping to give these little ones a new start and a better future.
In recent weeks, Val visited a neighboring area, which is very, very poor and in great need of our help and crafting skills. The people have so little and their needs are for the basics such as clothing. Because of their way of life, the things we take for granted are worth a fortune to these people and a simple hand knitted cardigan or a warm vest will bring huge smiles and heartfelt appreciation from those who receive them.
Can you make a child smile? Pick up those knitting needles and think of the warmth and joy you will be giving to someone who has nothing! Pick up a needle or a crochet hook and make some squares for a quilt, nothing made will be wasted.
Recently members of the group have been donating new/as new underwear for the teenage girls in Lesotho, do you have any panties or bras that will never get worn that you could donate? They will be distributed to the people who can most benefit from your generosity, those who badly need them.
Please do join us and share you’re crafting skills to help give those with nothing something to smile about; there are so many ways that we can put your skills and hobbies to good use.
Rachel’s Place and the Future
On February 20th 2012, I am looking forward to going to Lesotho along with two other members of our group, after much scrimping and saving for our air fares. We will be staying at Rachel’s Place and giving hands on help with the children and the day to day running of this orphanage. This will give us a golden opportunity to see our items being used and also to ascertain what more we can do to help.
For every child we do help there are literally hundreds of others who are going without, so please do join us and become part of our caring group, no help is too little.
Aunty Jane signing out, many, many thanks for all your help, huge hugs, Aunty Jane xx