I am pleased to report that Aquabox has resumed normal operations recently. However, because of the occurrence of hurricanes, floods and earthquakes lately, they have often had requests for boxes of water filters only, reflecting the shortage of clean water in these disaster situations. Unfortunately, they have been unable to send any humanitarian goods in these cases, which include the knitted articles we supply.
Thank you to everyone for continuing to knit while Aquabox was closed down, and I hope you have managed to send any knitted goods to other charities, if this proved necessary. We shall be glad to receive any knitted articles which have been saved, but if these are in large amounts, please send them in smaller instalments.
Mrs. Mary Neville of Our Lady of Lourdes Roman Catholic Church took a large quantity of our small jumpers, and sent them to orphanages in Romania. The people there were impressed by the quality of the garments, and were pleased to receive them.
I was also able to take about a dozen oversized blankets, which Aquabox was unable to pack, to the Bluebell Park Residential Home in Chellaston for use of the people living there, which were also gratefully accepted. These blankets can also be
used by the Romanian orphanages (see photo).
I have been given a donation of £20 from a knitting group in Ashby de la Zouch towards transport costs of the Aquaboxes, which I have forwarded to Aquabox – many thanks to Bronwen and her group. I know that some groups have held fund-raising events for Aquabox in the past, and if anyone would like to have such an event, with a speaker from Aquabox, the person to contact is Mr. David Rawson, Aquabox, P.O. Box 5398, Matlock, DE4 4ZP, or Telephone 01629 825178. He gives a most interesting and informative talk, and he and his wife Tina regularly visit The Gambia with Aquaboxes.
May the knitting flourish, now the dark nights are here, and all best wishes for a blessed Christmas
Many thanks for your help and support
Dorothy Robinson (Co-ordinator)
Harvest Appeal for Zimbabwe.
This year the Appeal was in aid of providing chickens for poorer people in Zimbabwe to set up small chicken farms to improve their incomes. Chickens were therefore a feature at the All We Can Stall at Synod under the slogan ‘Chirp for Joy’. This brought a response from Heather Simm of the South Derbyshire Circuit , who has been knitting chickens (see photo) to fundraise for the Harvest Appeal. At present , she has raised £55, and is to be congratulated for her imaginative and skilful efforts. Many thanks to all our members who also contributed to the Harvest Appeal. Zimbabwe is also one of the African countries exposed to the threat of Climate Change. Two thirds of the population live in rural areas, living off the land, and are vulnerable to droughts, floods, rising temperatures, and changing patterns of rainfall, affecting agricultural production, and livelihoods. The son of a Methodist minister, Clever Tabiza leads and supports local actions to help those who are vulnerable to the effects of impending Climate Change.
Rohingya Refugee Crisis Appeal.
All We Can and the Methodist Church in Britain are calling for support for this urgent appeal to help refugees displaced by recent violence in Myanmar. The majority fleeing to camps in Bangladesh are women and children. There is desperate need for water, food, shelter, and access to medical care. Recent heavy rains have exacerbated the situation, where available shelter is sub-standard or make-shift. Many people are traumatised, having witnessed, or suffered, atrocities, and may need psychological support. Donations may be sent to me, or to All We Can at 25 Marylebone Road, London, NW1 5JR, or call 020 7224 4814.
A catalogue entitled Extraordinary Gifts is available from All We Can either on-line, or by post, and I have a few copies available. The catalogue lists gifts of practical presents which help people in some of the world’s poorest communities. The gifts may be bought by individuals, churches, or groups. All We Can has also produced a resource called ‘Extraordinary Christmas’, which gives reflections and prayers suitable for use during the lighting of Advent candles, and also during Christmas worship. Fundraising ideas are also included. This resource is available at allwecan.org.uk/christmas , or call 020 7224 4814. There is also an order form in the gift catalogue.
Derby Circuit Rep. ‘All We Can’
Rev Dr Moira Biggins has been appointed as the chair of Workplace Chaplaincy in Derbyshire (WCD). WCD is an ecumenical voluntary organisation which deploys lay and ordained volunteer Workplace Chaplains throughout the County of Derbyshire.
Moira is the successor as Chair to Rev Dr John Davies, former Dean of Derby Cathedral, who has left the city to take up a new appointment as the Dean of Wells Cathedral. Moira is the first woman Chair and the first Methodist Chair of WCD. She has been appointed for a three year renewable term and took up the post on May 1st 2017.
Although she left the Circuit this summer, she is not leaving the county (she is going to the South Derbyshire Circuit), so was able to take up the role. She will also be continuing as one of the chaplains at East Midlands Airport.
For more information about WCD, see its website at http://www.workplacechaplaincyderbyshire.org.uk/
Our knitted goods go mainly to Aquabox, which celebrates its 25th Anniversary this year, and which continues to send aid to countries worldwide, where there is no access to safe drinking water. Aquabox had been working fortnightly, instead of weekly, so reducing their output, in respect of demand. However, Aquaboxes have been sent to East Africa, where the drought is severe, often sending boxes just containing the much- needed water filters. In particular, aid has been sent to Field Hospitals in North Kenya, which provide aid and a safe haven for people fleeing from drought and famine. Aid continues to be sent to refugee camps in Syria, but as they become better organised, the demand for aid is decreasing. Peru has suffered recent severe floods, and aid has been sent to remote villages there, which have no clean water.
As a result of reduced output, Aquabox had been accepting only teddies and cot blankets, but Mary Neville , Knitting Group Organiser, Our Lady of Lourdes R.C. Church, Mickleover has agreed to take any jumpers our groups may have, to send to Eastern Europe. I have now been notified that Aquabox will be closing down in July, and possibly August, as their warehouse is fully stocked, and they are looking for more funding. They are asking that we divert our knitting activities to other causes at the moment, which might include knitting hats and scarves for charities for homeless people (e.g. Padley Centre, Hope Centre.) One of our groups is knitting small Christmas angels as goodwill gifts for their church and community this Christmas. This idea was successfully carried out by the Newcastle Methodist District in 2015, and they distributed 20,000 angels. If we took up this idea, it would not be on that scale, but if groups are interested, does anyone have a pattern for a small knitted angel?
One of our organisers at Chellaston, Glenda Cumpstone has decided to go into residential care, as a result of a recent fall. We shall be sorry to lose her support, but wish her a peaceful and happy retirement. On account of this, and because knitted goods will be going to different charities, regretfully, we can deal only with goods for Aquabox at Chellaston. If possible, please send goods for collection by Aquabox by Monday 26th June, as the courier will not be operating in July. Otherwise, please keep the goods until needed. If you would like to knit for other charities, please deliver the goods to the appropriate address – I can supply some contact details.
Many thanks for your help and support
Dorothy Robinson (Co-ordinator)
(Methodist Relief and Development) July 2017
At the moment, the most urgent relief work carried out by All We Can is in East Africa, in countries worst affected by drought and famine. These include South Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, and Yemen in the Middle East. The distribution of aid is made more difficult by civil wars in South Sudan, and Yemen. All We Can is very appreciative of the £420,000 donated recently for famine relief, which has enabled the supply of sorghum, beans, cooking oil, and a nutritious peanut paste for babies to famine stricken areas. This is welcome news to people who have been trying to survive on bitter leaves, and water lilies, of little nutritional value.
The lean season in these areas is July, and three counties in South Sudan are already suffering famine. The Methodist Church is appealing for people to continue to give towards All We Can’s programme for famine relief. I am very pleased to have received £130 in the last few weeks for the appeal, and would ask people to keep up the effort, whether donations are sent to me to forward, or direct to Head Office at www.allwecan.org.uk/famine (or call 020 7467 5132)
Perhaps churches are already planning their Harvest Services, so please keep the All We Can Harvest Appeal in mind. This year the focus is on setting up small enterprises keeping chickens in Zimbabwe, and the slogan is ‘Chirp for Joy’. Many poorer people find it difficult to buy food, where prices are very high due to rampant inflation. The setting up of small chicken farms for poorer people in the countryside will be a life- saver. Harvest Packs for services, including a DVD, are available at www.allwecan.org.uk/harvest (or order by phone) I will have a few packs available on the All We Can stall at the Derby and Nottingham District
Synod on Sept. 16th at Riverside, Pride Park, Derby. At the Synod in April, this stall inspired a collection for All We Can from Synod members which amounted to £500, and I am very grateful for their interest, and wonderful support.
Derby Circuit Rep. ‘All We Can
It was “Derby week” in the Methodist Recorder newspaper on 24 February.
There was a letter from Dorothy Robinson of Chellaston, our Circuit All We Can representative, about “Cities of Sanctuary and welcoming the stranger”.
And Phil Royle of Mickleover not only won first prize in the paper’s Limerick Competition, but had a second poem listed among the “judges’ other favourites”.
I am hoping that most of you received the news that Aquabox has closed down operations during January and February this year, and is hoping to resume work in March. Aquabox sent 500 boxes to Haiti before Christmas in response to flood damage there, caused by a hurricane. Aquabox are now re-stocking goods for the boxes, but they have been unable to obtain some essential components, and are awaiting their arrival. The pause in operations will also save on heating, and the necessity of travelling in bad weather for the volunteers, during these winter months. Many thanks to those who responded with donations of money – these are much appreciated.
One of the fund-raisers at Aquabox, Mr. David Rawson (who is also available as a speaker) has recently visited The Gambia in West Africa, with his wife Tina. They usually visit the country every year, supervising Aquaboxes, and supporting a school for deaf children there. This year, the Rawsons went, despite the recent turmoil in The Gambia, caused by the reluctance of the outgoing President to recognise the results of the recent presidential election. This caused much anxiety and unrest in the country, and diplomatic pressure by other African states for a democratic solution. The newly elected President is happily, now installed, and intends that The Gambia should re-join the commonwealth.
Some of our members have had health problems lately. Mrs. Mary Neville, who organises the knitting group at Our Lady of Lourdes R.C Church in Mickleover has had a recent hip operation, and thankfully, is recovering well. Mrs. Glenda Cumpstone of Chellaston Knit and Natter Group, and who also stores knitting goods at Chellaston, which are awaiting dispatch to Aquabox ,has had a fall. Unfortunately Glenda has broken her elbow, and is in hospital recovering from an operation needed on her arm. This is a blow to Glenda, as she will be unable to knit for some time, and she is a dedicated knitter, besides helping with the organisation of knitted goods. We pray for a good recovery for her, and that it will not be too long before she can resume her knitting. I am really grateful to these two ladies, both over 80, who still maintain their Christian witness and service.
Many Thanks to everyone for keeping up the knitting, and storing it until we can again send our knitted goods to Aquabox. I will let you all know as soon as the knitting traffic is given the green light!
All best wishes for a Happy Easter
Dorothy Robinson (Co-ordinator)
During Lent, All We Can is focussing on its work in Cameroon, a West African Country with an Anglophone community which often suffers discrimination from their government. The government also serves a diverse nation of 20 million people of differing ethnic groups, religions and over 200 languages. Despite the good natural resources of the country, over 40% of people live below the poverty line. Corruption in public life, and threats of terrorism from the north do not help their situation.
All We Can prioritises help to the most needy and vulnerable people in Cameroon, these usually being widows and elderly women. The All We Can study booklet for Lent , ‘All Together for Justice’ highlights the ways in which some of these widows have been helped to a sustainable life after bereavement. Although widows have a right to their husband’s property, they are often cheated out of this, due to pressure from in-laws, debt, or being unable to fight for their rights because of lack of education. Some even consider prostitution as a means of surviving.
All We Can arranges self- help groups where women can meet together, and gain confidence. Skills training, and financial aid are given, which enable the women to start small business enterprises to support themselves and their families. A popular business which is taken up is pig farming. Gladys, one of the women helped by All We Can, had been reduced to feelings of suicide on losing her husband, but now has a pig rearing business, and looks forward to a much brighter future for herself and her family.
All We Can would like people to support this valuable work in Cameroon by a commitment to regular giving. As Doreen Asong, a support worker in Cameroon says “The £3 or £4 people are giving doesn’t seem much, but here it is immeasurable – it is giving hope, life, and everything to someone who has nothing. I just want to thank those who give, and encourage them to do more, because there are many more women who are still waiting”
Derby Circuit Rep. ‘All We Can’
At the Local Preachers’ & Worship Leaders’ meeting on Thursday 2nd March, both Matthew Cadden-Hyde and Chandra Morbey had their final interviews before recommendation to the Circuit Meeting that they be accepted as fully Accredited Methodist Local Preachers.
Also this quarter, Yan Yan Case and Theresa Hartwright will conduct their ‘final’ Trial Service and Ilona Rigby her ‘halfway’ Trial Service.
We commend all of them, as well as those still in training, for your prayers and support. It is a considerable commitment they all undertake to achieve full accreditation. Of course, once that happens, all Local Preachers and Worship Leaders need to continue to study and develop their conducting of worship and preaching. Knowing they are held before God in prayer by the Churches they serve, is of great encouragement.
Secretary to Local Preachers’ & Worship Leaders’ Meeting,