INTER CARE AND COSBY QUILTERSThe final count of quilts came to.....111
This included eight small quilts which will go the the Prem Unit at the General Hospital
This also includes five quilts awaiting collection from Viv and her ladies.
Before the quilts actually got packed up, I was asked if we would sell them to individuals.
I initially said No, but then realised that Inter Care, also need money to despatch goods.
So, since two of them were mine, and one other, I accepted payments totalling £65, which I gave to Intercare,
As it happens, it will cost roughly £1 to send out each quilt, so I felt this made good sense
On Thursday we (Elaine Capewell and I) went over to Syston to the premises of Inter Care Limited, with a boot full of quilts.
We were given a very warm welcome by the volunteers led by Diane Hardy the General Manager.
They were all very impressed by the handiwork of our quilters, but in turn, Elaine and I were impressed by the work carried out by this group.
Our quilts will make a huge difference to the recipients who often have only straw mats to sleep on, and have no item they can call their own.
Our quilts will go with the medical aid, maybe only two or three at a time, since one of their main problems is transport costs. They are currently only able to despatch light-weight goods, as they are struggling for funds, and cannot send out heavier goods, such as equipment.
One of the volunteers is going to Malawi in September, and she intends to take as many quilts as she can, and will also take photos for us.
Intercare support the work of 121 rural hospitals, dispensaries, and health centres in Ghana, Cameroon, Tanzania, Zambia, Sierra Leone and Malawi. The way it works, each centre will send a 'wish list' to Inter Care, and on this list they will indicate medicines that are urgently required, others which they would like if possible, then finally items which would be good, but not absolutely vital.
The staff at Inter Care, then do their best to collect these items, and pack the medicines as required. They aim to supply each of the 121 centres twice a year, and all goods have to be sent by courier, and air transport. Hence the great expense.
And for those who have asked the question: 'How do we know they are received by the right people?'. We are assured that the recipients have to acknowledge what they have received. If they fail to confirm this, then supplies will not be sent again.
Inter Care have been supporting health units in Saharan Africa since 1974 and is staffed mostly by volunteers. They have no Government funding and all the income they receive is by donations, or fund raising, and yet they have managed to send more than £10 million worth of medicines over the years.
They are the only registered charity in the UK doing this work, and have recently been awarded the Queens Award for Voluntary Service.
If we stop and consider that drugs estimated at the value of £400-£800 million a year are prescribed and wasted.......then surely where possible, it is better to hand them over to Inter Care. (They do need to have a shelf life of 15 months).
So I feel that we at Cosby Quilters, and all the many other sewing groups, have helped this charity and the lives of the people in Africa.
Here are some photos taken at Inter Care - and - these people really do care!
|One of Mary Harvey's quilts is admired by Diane Hardy, Dr Helen Cox and one of the volunteers
|Medicines are sorted by the pharmacists and medically trained staff
|Diane and Elaine discuss medical criteria
|Everything is carefully checked before packing
So, the Quilts for Africa appeal will be on-going, as long as people feel they want to continue to contribute.
There are also other ways of helping, any un-wanted medicines which can be handed to Vicky Cooper. They do fund-raising and ask for items such as used stamps, foreign currency, jewellery, mobile phones, and printer cartridges.
Needless to say, monetary donations are gratefully received....
£10 would ship 3kg of medicines to Africa,
£25 would buy antibiotics to treat 83 children
£50 would send 1000 tablets to treat malaria
£1200 would support a health unit for one year
For every £1 collected - they send £4 worth of aid
I hope everyone feels as delighted (nay, euphoric) as I do at the amazing result.
Thank you everyone
PS I have received a lovely Thank You letter from Inter Care, which I will pass around at the next meeting of Cosby Quilters on................Wednesday 5 September
WATCH THIS SPACE!!!!