Beccles woman launches appeal for dolls to send to refugee children

Barbara Crispin from Beccles is appealing for people to donate dolls so she can knit outfits and sen

Barbara Crispin from Beccles is appealing for people to donate dolls so she can knit outfits and send them to children who have lost their toys in disasters. PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

A Beccles woman is appealing for donations of toy dolls to dress in dozens of outfits she has made for refugee children in some of the poorest parts of the world.

Barbara Crispin is looking for baby dolls of up to 16 inches long that she can knit and sew clothes for to send to youngsters in Malawi and the Philippines.

Each doll will go equipped with a summer and winter outfit to be given to a youngster who has lost their toys in recent disasters.

Mrs Crispin said: “A couple of weeks ago I was watching something on television about children in different countries having no toys.

“I’ve knitted clothes for baby Annabell dolls for 20 years and sold them at craft fairs and on Ebay, but my husband isn’t very well and I look after him so I don’t get out much any more.

“I just decided I had to do something so I went to Break charity shop in the town and the lady donated six dolls to me. I’ve got about 20 at the moment, with others being promised.

“The sky’s the limit really, I will make as many clothes as I get dolls. I just get my patterns and then I decide what I’m going to make. I also make clothes and blankets for premature babies and angel babies for a lady online that sends them to wherever they are needed.

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“A friend is going at the end of July to Malawi and will take the dolls with her.”

Mrs Crispin began knitting at the age of five and progressed to sewing when she was 12. She said: “My mother taught me to knit and then I went to an all girls school and I started making my own clothes. I remember wanting to make something and I didn’t have a pattern so I made my own.”

Mrs Crispin has also been given a quilt from a friend to raffle at Beccles WI, where she is a member, to raise extra money. Members of Beccles WI have been knitting teddy bears, mittens, hats and more for several years for Mary Anne Bartlett, who runs Art Safari in Woodbridge, and takes the items to orphanages in places such as Tanzania.

If you would like to donate some dolls call Mrs Crispin on 01502 712815.