From Ratley to Rwanda… with love

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Boys in Rawanda wearing shorts made by the Ratley Scrubs Club

During the first lockdown an army of “scrubbers” came forward to make vital scrub gear for frontline NHS staff. Ratley Scrubs Club was one the groups which formed back in March and stitched up a storm.

But the Ratley women didn’t rest up once the NHS demand was fulfilled. Instead they turned their talented hands to making pillowcase dresses and Bermuda shorts for women and children living in poverty in Rwanda.

During the genocide of 1994, thousands of women were raped and left with HIV. They are now shunned by neighbours and live in poverty. The Ratley dresses were delivered by charity Compassion Direct UK, which provides sustainable aid such as wells, fruit trees, wind turbines as well as garments to developing countries.

Ros Grant of CDUK said: “The colourful dresses made from unwanted pillowcases were gratefully received. The dresses and shorts made by the Ratley ladies will go some way to providing for some of the children with clothes so that they can attend school. But of course more are always needed as children grow.”

The Ratley ladies also sold home-made masks to cover the cost of the postage. And when they heard that boys needed shorts, they made 60 pairs of Bermuda shorts, pictured above, and 40 more dresses.

Organiser Shona Walton said: “After the long haul of the very worthwhile but repetitive scrubs manufacture, the dresses and shorts gave us scope for more creativity and fun, which has given the team a real boost.”