3 Jan 2019: Our annual Christmas online quilt sale to raise money for the Sukuta Health Centre in The Gambia was - thanks to you! - another great success.
Our informal appeal to friends and customers for quilts and other textile creations for the sale brought in an astounding 39 pieces.
As soon as the sale went live at midnight on 1 December, the online orders started pouring in. Then at 10 a.m. when we opened the doors for our shop Open Day, customers thronged into the shop to buy pieces right off the walls.
In the end, only a couple of pieces remained unsold and when we totted up the takings at the close on 30 December, we had a wopping £3,335 in the pot. Every penny will go to the Sukuta Health Centre.
We visited the clinic in December and inspected all of the work done with last year's money. Through 2018 Rose and her team invested the £2,670 that you raised on significant building, plumbing, sanitation and electrical improvements - including new sealable sliding windows in the maternity ward and pharmacy, plus fans and air conditioning repairs. They even bought solar rechargable light bulbs!
What lies ahead in 2019? Head nurse Rose Mendy and the village elders will meet soon to discuss the options. One thing that is definitely in the pipeline is refurbishing beds and mattresses.
Thank you again for helping Musa's clinic.
29 Apr 2019: With spring upon us, we're rampaging around the country with our spring season of World Textile Days. If you've never been, you don't know what you're missing. For a taste of the vibe, catch this great video by Jackie Newey, taken at World Textile Day Wales in Llanidloes in March. Enjoy!
28 May 2019: Big congratulations are in order for our friend Rose Mendy - Head Nurse at Sukuta Health Centre in The Gambia.
Musa just WhatsApped to tell us: Rose has been promoted to Regional Director. Well done, Rose!
We're not sure yet what that will mean for the clinic, so watch this space.
Meanwhile, under Rose and Musa's guidance, renovations and refurbishments proceed apace.
Musa visits the site most days to monitor progress and discuss new plans with Rose.
We've just had a new batch of photos arrive via WhatsApp. The boys are hard at work right converting the old watchman's house into staff accommodation.
So you see: all of that money you so generously parted with last Christmas in our online quilt sale is making a real difference for the staff and patients at the clinic. Thank you again!
17 Oct 2019: From West Yorkshire 2 West Africa - an exhibition collection of 'zero waste garments' by our own Jenny Hall - points the way toward a new way of thinking about the clothes we wear and how they are made.
Jenny never throws away fabric. ‘Every scrap will one day find a purpose,' she says.
And when it does, presto: zero waste garment design.
Jenny's collection of creative garments takes us back to a time when cloth was precious, dye was a luxury and every piece of cloth was treasured, mended and loved forever.
What a wonderful idea!
Facebook: West Yorkshire 2 West Africa
19 Dec 2019: on the road with Magie, Bob and Jenny - 2019 ended with a frantic flurry of travel, with back-to-back West African shopping sprees.
Magie and Bob spent much of October and November in Ghana.
In Accra one of our first stops is bustling and brilliant Makola Market. Makola is teeming with commerce: everything from bras to bicycle seats - and millions of miles of irresistable fabrics.
That's where we find Perpetual - our favourite wax print supplier. We don't know how she does it, but she seems to have a jump on all the other sellers. Her genuine African wax prints - all made in Ghana - are the best.
Of course, we spent plenty of time - and money! - with our favourite batik makers Esther and Grace, as well. Not to mention Oklah and the beadmakers in Koforidua and our basket guru Greg MacCarthy in Bolgatanga.
In December, Jenny got her first delicious taste of Africa, joining Magie and Bob in The Gambia. She got stuck into Musa's indigo vat, honed in like a laser on Neneh's eye-watering handpainted batiks and journeyed up river to Basse and the lumo - market, that is - at Sara Ngai. Marvellous!