Although Aquabox closed down for August for packing, they were very busy sending out Aquaboxes containing £90,000 worth of water filters and humanitarian aid. These were mainly destined for Kerala, South India to help people cope with the devastating floods there. Boxes were also sent to Cameroon, where thousands of people have been displaced because of fighting between government forces, and non-state armed groups. People have been forced to flee from their villages, preventing them from farming their land, thus losing their livelihoods. Children, women, and elderly people are the most affected, and dependent on aid.
Aquabox has received further requests for aid from the Philippines, Eritrea, and the Yemen. Providing this emergency aid is very demanding on funds and resources and they would welcome any donations to help the work to continue. Our knitted goods are also appreciated, particularly in situations where people have lost all their possessions. We rely on our courier, Derick Perry to take our knitted goods to Aquabox, and sadly, he is now recovering from the recent loss of his wife Anne, so please remember him in your prayers. We are now able to begin supplying MHA with knee blankets and twiddle muffs. About 30 twiddle muffs, supplied by a knitting group at Sinfin have been taken to Willowcroft MHA at Spondon, by Richard and Jenny Dodson of Oakwood. They visit regularly, as Richard plays the organ for a service there. They report that the residents received the twiddle muffs with great joy, thinking that Christmas had arrived. Items for Willowcroft may be left at Oakwood Church for Richard and Jenny to deliver. Barbara Sims will also receive goods for MHA at Mickleover Methodist Church, and she is in the process of taking 20 blankets, and 10 muffs to Maple Leaf House MHA, Ripley. Barbara also intends to take knitted items to Willowcroft. Our contact at MHA, Lesley France, sends the following message: ‘Thank you all, and keep knitting!’ If you are sending knee blankets, please make sure that they are the correct size – 28″ x 28″ (made up of 16 x 7″ squares), as other sizes are not suitable.
I shall not now be away from Derby for the next few weeks, helping my sister, as her operation has been postponed, and I hope that the knitting continues to flourish. Many thanks to you all for your efforts, which bring comfort to many, both at home and abroad.
DOROTHY ROBINSON (Co-ordinator)
Next year All We Can (AWC) will work more closely with the World Church Relationships team (WCR) to provide Methodist global partner churches with more comprehensive support and resources. WCR has partnership co-ordinators for Africa, The Americas, Asia-Pacific, and Europe, and co-operation with AWC will strengthen Methodist global churches for mission and development. All We Can will continue to provide relief and development, including its successful work with other NGO’s, in addition to supporting WCR. This new initiative is not a merger between WCR and AWC – donations to World Church and All We Can will continue to be channelled separately to each organisation.
An urgent Appeal has been launched by the Methodist Church, and All We Can in the aftermath of the recent devastating earthquake and tsunami in Sulawesi, Indonesia. The city of Palu was engulfed, and many neighbouring towns and villages are cut off by debris and landslides. The death toll could be in thousands, and survivors who have lost everything are in desperate need of water, food, shelter, and access to medical care. Thousands of people are so affected, and Laura Cook (AWC Humanitarian Aid Co-ordinator) urges people to give generously, so that we can make a rapid response.
All We Can not only provides relief in a crisis, but also works with some of the world’s poorest communities in development projects to help transform the lives of these people. In the Extraordinary Christmas Appeal, AWC has catalogues of Extraordinary Gifts, the proceeds of which, together with donations to the Christmas Appeal, can help some of the world’s poorest communities. To help with fund raising, Catalogues, Gift Aid Envelopes Posters, a Film, and Worship Resources may be ordered by calling 020 7467 5132, or e-mailing You may also like to invite an AWC speaker to a service or event, at the above contact number.
Many thanks to all who continue to support the work and vision of All We Can, and new supporters are very welcome
Derby Circuit Rep. ‘All We Can’
The good news is that Aquabox has begun sending boxes abroad to areas of crisis once more. At the moment, packing the boxes is every fortnight, instead of weekly. As there is great demand for clean water in the areas supplied, Aquabox is sending more water filters in the boxes, which unfortunately reduces space for humanitarian goods. However, Aquabox is still needing our knitted children’s goods, so please, if you have been saving knitted articles, send them as usual to me or to the courier, Derek Perry.
Last October, Aquabox sent 500 boxes containing water filters and humanitarian goods to the Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh. Each box supplies a family, and clean water is essential for drinking, and to prevent disease spreading. As there are now in excess of 600,000 refugees, the need is enormous. Aid also went to victims of the hurricanes which occurred in the Caribbean last September. Aquaboxes were sent to The British Virgin Islands and the Dominican Republic, which were in the path of the hurricanes, and were badly affected.
Aquabox also sent 100 boxes in October to Eritrea, which is receiving an influx of refugees from war in Yemen, and persecution in Ethiopia. The refugees arrive destitute, with no possessions, so emergency relief items are needed, as well as access to clean water. Although the sending out of Aquaboxes is slower, the need for relief aid, and our knitted articles does not diminish. These areas of crisis served are scenes of homelessness and destitution – so, please keep knitting to spread a little Easter hope and comfort in these dismal situations.
All Best Wishes, Dorothy Robinson
All We Can, together with the Methodist Church has been appealing for funds to send aid to the Rohingya Refugee camps in Bangladesh. There are about 620,000 Muslim refugees – Rohingya people, fleeing from murderous Buddhist persecution in Myanmar (formerly Burma) with not much prospect of a safe return at the moment. The refugees may wish to return, but they doubt that they will have secure status and protection, and they have had no rights to citizenship, or free movement in Myanmar in the past. Also, they would be homeless, as many of their villages have been burnt to the ground. At present the Government of Myanmar is not recognising the extent of the crisis, and is not very active in promoting the safe return of the Rohingya people to their home territory, Rhakine Province. All We Can, and Methodists have so far donated in excess of £50,000 for aid to the refugees, for which, many thanks.
As the refugee situation is continuing, there is the threat of disease spreading, in particular Diphtheria, and a vaccination programme has begun. There are therefore still many areas where help is needed, and any donations to All We Can towards such aid, will be much appreciated.
Last year, All We Can focussed on Zimbabwe in the Harvest Appeal. The idea was to set up poor rural families, often headed by women, with resources to farm chickens. The income from these enterprises will keep families fed, and allow them to pay school fees for their children (£38 pa). Farming in Zimbabwe is often affected by unpredictable rainfall, which can result in crop failures, with severe effects on livelihoods. All We Can is at present supplying a variety of seeds, and training in growing methods to provide a sustainable supply of food for family use, and also to sell for income. There is relief country-wide in Zimbabwe, at the recent change from a long- standing repressive regime, and we hope, with them, that the new administration will steer the country to better economic success, which will lift many people out of poverty.
All We Can continues to work with marginalised and vulnerable older people in Cameroon. Many are single, having lost their partners, but may still have responsibility to support children or grandchildren. All We Can works an innovative community support group in Northern Cameroon, where people can find opportunities to make an income by working on the community farm. This enables people to maintain themselves and their families, to pay school fees, and even to save money. The group is also given training on how to access their rights, as provided by the government. They made sure everyone acquired a legal birth certificate, which entitles them to access support. The group also campaigns at national level for changes to enable other older vulnerable people to gain the support they need to lead a dignified, safe, and happy life.
Some of these activities of All We Can are explored in their Lent Study Book ‘Keep it Simple’, which is worth reading at any time, just as an individual – its stories and concerns go on.
Over the years Methodist Churches have played a major role in supporting Padley, one of Derby’s longest established charities. Our purpose is to provide services to the most deprived and vulnerable in our society. This includes helping people with a range of issues such as homelessness, debt and destitution, drugs, alcohol, trauma related mental health issues, physical disabilities, learning disabilities, severe autism and long-term unemployment. Rooted in the churches, it is a great example of Christian service in action- though now we welcome (and depend upon) supporters from any faith or none.
Our ethos is all about growth and move-on, for some this is about moving on from a difficult past, for others it’s dealing with overwhelming circumstances or coping with a disability or condition that has limited their engagement with society, robbed them of their self- confidence or changed their life. While we help people rebuild their lives and confidence, we provide a safe environment for those who are most at risk in society.
To give you an idea of scale, last year we provided over a hundred homeless people with accommodation in our hostel, a daily average of seventy one people attended the homeless centre in Beckett St, a weekly average of almost 70 people attended our development centre in Rutland Street for those who have physical or learning difficulties/disabilities, and we prepared and served over 21,000 meals to disadvantaged and homeless people across our operations. We employ nineteen staff supported wonderfully by around eighty volunteers, many of whom give many hours each week. We could not survive without them!
Recent years have seen massive cuts in our income from government funded sources- indeed we have lost over £200,000 in direct funding- around 25% of our total income. Thanks to the generosity of many we have made up some of this shortfall, and with even more careful stewardship and the trimming down of some of our services, we are still very much in business! We depend almost entirely on harvest donations to provide the food for the meals and the many small donations from coffee mornings etc. all go to make up the funding mix. Thank you all.
We are always happy to come and talk to any groups if you would like find out more, or become involved. Contact information is on the website www.padleygroup.com or you can contact me directly – my details are in the circuit directory.