• 01524 401600

Barton Road Community Centre

“The Stitchery” Drop-in Sewing Group, all abilities, Wednesday 12.30 – 2.30pm £1 per session
“Knit2Together” Drop-in Knitting Group, all abilities, Thursday 12.30 – 2.30pm £1 per session
Drop-in Computer Sessions, all abilities, Tuesday and Wednesday 10 – 12noon £1 per session

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Buttons and Bows


Buttons and Bows formally ‘The Kenyan Project

January 2018 Newsletter

Our group is made up of ladies who sew, knit and crochet making new clothes for abandoned babies and children in need. Making beautiful things to give out with practical care, as the need is made known. These ladies either come to our monthly workshop or prefer working from home.

When this work started at the beginning of 2012 and  called ‘The Kenyan Project’ we never envisaged the work developing the way it has. The work started through seeing a three minute video describing the plight of many babies in Kenya. One little child left in a dug out toilet to die, and the story of his rescue and subsequent adoption. New Life Home Trust, Nairobi was instigator in his rescue and care.  Although it seemed a huge task we felt called to help where we could. We started by raising some money for them by holding a Family Fun Day which raised £1,500 on the day and later went to £1900. New Life Homes used the money to buy solar panels for their nursery.  These continue to bring benefit to help keep the little babies warm, as electric supplies can be a problem in African countries. Little did we know that in a short time we would be helping four other homes in Kenya by making clothes and sending money gifts.  We always knew that the work would change and move and develop and we tried to be aware of the real needs of those we sort to help.

Before we changed our group name and method of distribution we were sending aid to orphanages in Kenya,  Malawi, Uganda, Gambia and Zambia.

We sent aid out with people we knew or by taking space in a container.

This was paid for by the group earning money by coffee mornings etc.

At the beginning of 2016 the difficulties we were encountering with the cost of distribution plus other areas of the work, was discussed with the group and ‘The Kenyan Project’, was terminated and Buttons and Bows was formed within ten minutes. This gave us an opportunity to look at new charities and establish a list of groups locally and overseas that might benefit from our skills and expertise.

It was very interesting to view the list after only three or four days and find that new ways had been found to get the aid into Malawi and other African countries without the vast expense.  New local charities working with children were brought to our attention.

Buttons and Bows List of charities working making Clothes, Blankets and toys for needy Children

Project Linus UK; Distribute comfort blankets, patchwork quilts, (tightly worked) knitted and  crochet given to children and siblings who are very ill and staying in local hospitals. We knit Premature baby hats and mittens, (The pattern is available).

Project Linus uk http://www.projectlinusuk.org.uk/

Samaritans Purse   Christmas Child  Shoe boxes

Things that children would love to receive as a Christmas gift are welcome. For example, knitted hats, gloves and scarves.  Crayons and colouring books. Please no sweets or chocolate.          www.samaritans-purse.org.uk/

Formo   Preston   uk (Everything Goes to Malawi)

They require the same type of gifts that went to Starfish Malawi.  Dresses and shorts (Cotton) knitted jumpers and cardigans and hats in bright colours please. T Shirts and

toiletries soap, flannel, tooth paste and brush. School stuff. Please look on the web to get ideas.  If you feel unsure just contact me.


Hamlin Fistula Hospital Ethiopia, Dr Catherine Hamlin. Check out the work.

http://www.hamlinfistulauk.org/   Check sizes of blankets needed ,as they are larger than ordinary blankets.  Young ladies use them as comfort shawls after having their operations.

Romania Iasi Kindergarten where Howard and I went September 2016.  Their work goes out into the surrounding community. The children are loved and encouraged and  helped with their school work.

Poland  Krakow  Jewish community Centre.  They also work into the community with Holocaust survivors and their families.  Howard and I visited there in October 2016.They have recently opened a new kindergarten, now stocked with lots of our soft toys.

Prague Czech Republic ,Prague City hall,Social Care.  Howard and I visited Prague in January 2017. We met the district social worker who works with the Roma community. She was delighted with our gifts.

An orphanage in Zambia and also one in Gambia are new to our list.

The Woman’s refuge at Preston However, due to the type of work they undertake no details can be given.

David and Ruth Midwinter from Brookhouse work out in Albania.

We sent aid for the kindergarten and child development centre and music school.  They look lovely in their new warm jumpers. (photographs available)

Barbados and Sri-lanka are being checked at this present time.      January 2018

‘Buttons and Bows’ was firmly established with a sense of purpose and direction and with the same Christian morals and values. From time to time new charities are considered, only after a period of time checking them, are they then adopted.  We need to know that the gifts are going to the right people who will be responsible for correct distribution.  We have made albums’ of photographs and letters from the start of the work these can be viewed at anytime.

Collection of Work

When handing work in, if you wish it to go to a particular country or orphanage it is advisable to put a label on the gift, making known your wishes. Otherwise work will be sent to where it is needed most. “To quote one of our recipients, children enjoy receiving parcels from the ladies of Button’s and Bows, they are eager to see what has been sent. It makes them feel special, loved and more importantly remembered.”

Our Buttons and Bows Account

From our £2-00 subs we paid for the hire of the room and postage of large parcels containing gifts.     The balance is now £106-30p.        Thank you every one.

Starting Date For New Term

Tuesday 6th February 2018  Venue;   The Memorial Hall, Slyne-with-Hest

1-30 until 3-30   Ground floor — Access.  Everyone will be made welcome.

Tea/Coffee and a home made cake will be available at a small charge of £2.00.  This helps to pay for the hire of the room.

Starting Date For New Term Tuesday 6th February 2018  Venue;   The Memorial Hall, Slyne-with-Hest  1-30 until 3-30   Ground floor — Access.  Everyone will be made welcome.

Foundling or abandoned babies, unfortunately, are a phenomenon that occurs throughout the world. We cannot stop it but we can and do make a difference, one tiny bit at a time. The turning wheel; a revolving cradle or device to aid anonymous abandonment of infants was outlawed in England over a hundred years ago, has been re-introduced in the EU but now called a baby box. This may be happening elsewhere. Howard and I saw these baby boxes for ourselves last year and is a stark reality of what is happening, this is recorded in our albums.

Kate Adie a foundling herself has written a book, Nobody’s Child, I can recommend this book. Kate goes into this problem in great detail both historically and modern day.

Doing a little when we can, does make a difference. When we look back over the years of this work, I wonder how many little lives have been touched by practical concern and care. Some of these children do not get fostered or find permanent homes, so we make clothes for boys and girls up to the age 13/14.

We have many ladies who are new to the group.  We are pleased to welcome you.

Hopefully this Newsletter will explain our beginnings.  Any questions that might arise, please ask.

May we continue to be a supportive, friendly and productive working group.

Can I suggest that you listen to the you tube clip below?


Chris Rice, Go Light Your World.


Regards Susan

Lancaster Woodcraft Folk

Lancaster Woodcraft Folk

Group night activities for the Woodchips (4s to 6s) and the Elfins (7s to 9s)

Contact Damian Randle for details


PottyRoo’s Ceramics and Crafts

Paint your own Pottery  at PottyRoo’s Ceramics and Crafts

295 Marine Road Central

Any ages, on your own or with family/friends.