Sid Valley knitters donate handmade hats and jumpers to new born babies in Uganda

PUBLISHED: 09:34 01 February 2018 | UPDATED: 09:34 01 February 2018

Duncan and Rosalind Watts with Jean Bridgeman with some of the knitted donations for the Uganda project. Ref shs 04 18TI 6996. Picture: Terry Ife

Duncan and Rosalind Watts with Jean Bridgeman with some of the knitted donations for the Uganda project. Ref shs 04 18TI 6996. Picture: Terry Ife

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Knitters across the Sid Valley have once again united to donate garments to give to newborn babies and young children in Africa.

Some of the knitted donations for the Uganda project. Ref shs 04 18TI 6989. Picture: Terry IfeSome of the knitted donations for the Uganda project. Ref shs 04 18TI 6989. Picture: Terry Ife

Duncan and Rosalind Watt have received bags of knitted hats and jumpers to take to Uganda as part of their ongoing work with The East African Missionary Society.

The couple, who are from Salcombe Regis, take the items over when they travel to Africa and will donate the items to the maternity unit, immunisation unit and any needy children in the Gulu district.

For the past four years they have been supported by Jean Bridgeman, who along with members of the Knit and Knatter group have made the knitwear to provide warmth in the cool evenings and wet season.

Rosalind said: “You only go to hospital to give birth at the last minute. Many people have to travel a very long way to get to this hospital, but there is no drinking water or food provision on site.. There are very basic facilities but since 2016, it does now have a new neonatal unit with one incubator that works when there is power!

“They [the mums] are so amazed and you see it in their expressions when you give the clothes to them, they cannot believe we are giving them something and that they have been thought of.”

Jean said the members enjoyed making the items and seeing photos of the clothing being handed out to the mums at the hospital.

Rosalind and Duncan will head to Uganda again in February, which will mark the 29th time they have visited the country.

They began travelling to Africa 18 years ago and have worked on a number of projects in and around Gulu to improve education and vocational training, provisions for prisoners, support for orphans and encouraging self sufficiency by offering low cost loans to assist and encourage business owners.

Duncan said: “At the time it was just the two of us and we were just volunteers.

“The need was so big, and after a few years of “going it alone” we realised we needed to join forces with an established organisation so for the last 10 years we have worked with The East African Missionary Society.

“It is incredible how generous and kind hearted the majority of people in first world countries are but it’s sad there is still a great need.”

For more information about The East Africa Mission Society, visit www.teamsonline.org.

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