Beccles and Bungay groups unite to support project for girls in Africa

All the groups involved in the Beccles Lions Little Dresses for Africa project with their appreciati

All the groups involved in the Beccles Lions Little Dresses for Africa project with their appreciation certificates - Credit: Archant

A project has seen eight community groups join together to make a staggering 378 dresses to support impoverished children in Africa.

The initiative saw Beccles and District Lions Club appeal for organisations to help them make Little Dresses for Africa.

Lion president Fred Helsdon said when the project was first raised at a club meeting they initially felt that due to the lack of sewing skills within the club, they would not be able to get too involved, but merely support the project by providing a donation towards transportation costs.

However fellow Lion Chris Lambert’s wife Carolyn is a member of the Beccles Red Hat Ladies who donated 319 pairs of knickers and helped them to attract eight local groups to make the dresses.

The simple pattern sees the garments made from pillowcases and other suitable fabrics. For many children wearing smart clothes can reduce the risk of them being abused or abducted.

The groups involved in the project included the Barsham Church Team, Beccles Red Hat Ladies, Beccles Sewing and Handicrafts, Bungay Textile Group and Busy Bees in Beccles, with people sewing from the age of six to 90.

Dermot Wesley-Smith, the club’s welfare officer said: “As a means of saying thank you to those involved in making the dresses the club hosted a special evening where groups brought along all the dresses they had made and presented them to the Lions district project co-ordinator, Mandy Hawksley.

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“The evening was a great success with each organisation presenting their wares and being awarded a certificate in appreciation for all their hard work from the Beccles club.”

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