Handmade Norfolk knitwear will keep babies warm in Africa
10:49 24 January 2014
Hundreds of woolly hats and vests made in Norfolk are being sent to babies in Africa thanks to the formidable fundraising efforts of a Filby woman.
Sandra Webb, of Pound Lane, was first inspired to help children living in poverty in Nairobi when her daughter, Kate, visited Kenya on a school trip.
Flegg High School students visit Africa every summer and last year 46-year-old Sandra not only helped Kate raise £1,500 for the trip but arranged for 400 knitted hats to go with her.
“It was me and my mum really,” said Sandra.
“She put a little advert in the parish magazine in Belton and six or seven got knitting.
“The photos and stories that came back with Kate not only affected her but me, and I realised the children out there have nothing
“I felt I needed to help and couldn’t sit back and not act.”
The hats were donated to various primary schools.
This week Sandra and Kate, now 18, collected another 300 knitted hats - along with vests and teddy bears, that will go to a Kenyan children’s home and a baby hospital in Malawi.
Sandra connected with Meggies Mwangi, who runs the Amazing Grace children’s home in Nakuru, via Facebook and now directly supports the small home which cares for about 28 youngsters.
“Meggies basically opened her family home to these children,” said Sandra.
“Since last June, me and my mum Kathleen, have fundraised and posted toys and shoes to them and a Christmas parcel with decorations in.
“I speak to Meggies most days and send either funding so the children have money for schooling, stationery or parcels with treats and games for them.”
The hats and baby vests destined for the Bwaila Maternity Hospital in Lilongwe Malawi - whose team Sandra also connected with via Facebook - have been made by Sandra, Kathleen, June Blaza and members of the Great Yarmouth ladies darts charity league team.
On Tuesday, Sandra picked up another 300 hats and 40 teddies kindly made by the Norfolk Knitters, a group with over 1,300 members.
Every single handmade item will make a difference at the hospital where there are 15,000 births a year - about 50 per week, with most mothers unable to afford any clothing for their babies.
Some mothers, said Sandra, resort to wrapping the newborns in newspaper to keep them warm during cold nights.
Anyone interested in supporting Amazing Grace or the Mwalwi hospital can call Sandra on 01493 369336 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.