Projects within the Diocese
The Mothers’ Union here in Sheffield support several projects throughout the Diocese. A brief description of our work can be found below.
Away From It All is a project which provides much needed holidays for families who need to get away and have a break but they do not have the means to go.
We send approx 16 families away every year to caravans on the East Coast to Haven holiday sites. The caravans are beautiful and very well equipped and the sites have many amenities for the families to enjoy. We also give the families a hamper of food.
This project is funded by our members who hold some very enterprising events, eg, Soup and Sandwich lunches, raffles, Bible auctions, Coffee Mornings and even a sponsored Skydive by Sheila Barnes which raised over £2000 for AFIA.
Already this year 8 holidays have been arranged, one of these is for someone to have a respite break from intense caring responsibilities.
Bye Buy Childhood
“Your children only get one childhood, make it memorable.”
Bye Buy Childhood 2015
Mother’s Union has today published our Bye Buy Childhood 2015 report, highlighting new research findings, along with the results of in-depth interviews with a number of parents and calls for continued support for and investment in this area from government.
The new report is accompanied by an engagement pack which has been designed to equip all members to engage with the issue and to think about how they could join in with the campaigning activities.
Christian African Relief Trust is a Christian organisation based in Huddersfield who send out crates to Africa with much needed aid. Our members love to knit blankets and jumpers for Africans. We also collect ends of candles for a candle business in Africa, along with spectacles and hearing aids. CART also has a shop which sells second hand items to pay for the high shipping costs of the crates. We have also recently taken hundreds of pairs of children’s sandals to CART. These were donated by a very generous business man. We take a car full of aid to CART about every 6 weeks.
In May Doncaster, Snaith and Hatfield Deaneries hired a van and took a lot of donations to CART in Huddersfield.
There are 4 Women’s Refuges in our Diocese and we support each one with toiletries, food hampers and gifts at Christmas.
Prison Play Area
Imagine, if you will, small children’s faces pressed up against the window of the play area, willing so hard for the doors to be opened. At last they open! In come expectant faces looking for a favourite toy they may have played with the week before, or a look of wonder at all the colourful and exciting toys, paints or cards to make, colouring in to do, on offer. It is a wonderful sight to see. One little girl announced as she rushed through the door “I am number four now!” She wore a huge birthday number four badge and was so proud of it. Her daddy had swept her off her feet in a big hug as she approached him to visit. A little boy rushes up to one of the pushchairs announcing that he is taking the baby for a walk and will be back soon, whilst another little boy is busy carrying a plateful of play food. I ask “ Where are you going with all that food?” “I’ve cooked my daddy a meal,“ he tells me. It is so full of goodies I help him to carry it to a very appreciative daddy!
These are just a few instances which bring such joy to the children who come to visit at Moorlands Prison and to the volunteers who are there each Tuesday for a couple of hours every four or five weeks. We are so appreciated by prison staff, parents and especially the children. As one of our Mothers’ Union Objects state we must try ‘To help those whose family life has met with adversity.’ Hopefully, in a small way that is what we are doing. BUT we could do more with your help! We need more volunteers so that we can open this valuable facility on another afternoon. We can only do this with your help please. Volunteers do not have to be M.U. members so spread the word and tell folk of the wonderful work that is already being done. We need male and female volunteers; we already have a husband and wife team which is so good for the children. It is such fun because all you do is PLAY!! What a great way to spend an afternoon, and the rewards are amazing.
The play area has been in existence since 1992 so let us make sure it continues to grow and thrive. I know that it can, with your help and prayers. More information needed? Give me, Issy Mears, a call on 01302 570431 or e mail
Let us be the ones ‘To promote conditions in society favourable to stable family life and the protection of children.’
Our organisation owns 4 Virtual babies, (2 regular babies, 1 alcohol syndrome and 1 drug affected) The babies are loaned out to secondary schools, youth organisations and other agencies (eg Sure Start) for use with qualified professionals who are working with teenagers. The babies were bought when the problem of rising teenage pregnancies in South Yorkshire was brought to our attention. The idea is that teenagers take the babies home and look after them unaided, just like a real baby. The care that they give can be recorded and the adults in charge can decide if the baby has been looked after well or not.
Many of the comments that have been given by the teenagers are quite revealing , for instance…..
· I would love to have a baby but certainly not yet, I couldn’t cope.
· They are very time consuming, I don’t want one yet.
· I hated it when I couldn’t sleep for the baby crying.
We hope that this project will prevent some unwanted teenage pregnancies and also help teenagers on drugs and alcohol to realise the danger of their habit for any future babies.