Helping newborns

St Mary's Church, Easington Village, Monday Club members (left to right) Margaret Kirkbride, Thelma Burnhope, Dorothy Green, Ivy Green and Ann Carter with a selection of knitted clothing. Picture by FRANK REID
St Mary's Church, Easington Village, Monday Club members (left to right) Margaret Kirkbride, Thelma Burnhope, Dorothy Green, Ivy Green and Ann Carter with a selection of knitted clothing. Picture by FRANK REID

NEWBORNS in a developing country are being given a better start in life thanks to a close-knit community.

The Easington Village-based Monday Club has been leading a community-wide effort to make and donate woolly garments for babies being born in Africa.

The newborns are known as “fish and chip babies” in the UK as they are wrapped in newspaper when they leave hospital as families have nothing warm to wrap them in.

Kind-hearted members of the Monday Club, based at the village’s St Mary’s Church, heard about the plight of the youngsters and set about knitting woolly cardigans for the tots.

They have also been handed dozens of garments from other caring local people and since February, they have amassed more than 300 pieces to ship off to Africa.

Group member Dorothy Green, who is originally from Easington, but moved to Darlington 17 years ago, and her twin sister, Ivy Green, heard about the babies and spread the word to the group.

Dorothy said: “When I heard about the babies I thought ‘poor little things’, they are out in Africa and they haven’t got anything to wrap them in.

“It’s heartbreaking.

“It just shows how concerned people are that we have had such a response, not only from members of the club but from members of the community.

“One man asked if they could send 10 babygrows.

“It’s good to know in this day and age that people are still so concerned about helping others.

“People from the community have been so good.”

The Monday Club meets monthly on Wednesdays at the church, in Hall Walks, and new members, who are not necessarily connected to the church, are always welcome.

The club, which was set up 10 years ago, has 20 members and regularly welcomes guest speakers and holds social outings.

The next meeting is on May 9, from 2pm-4pm, and will feature afternoon tea at Plants ‘R’ Ross, near Easington Village.