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Project Work


Knitted Items

Most of the patterns for these items are on our resource page
Children in Uganda - one in a snuggle wrap, one wearing a top down cardigan, one with a comfort doll and the little ones with two small teddies.
Thank you to the members who made these teddies, they have been sent to Knit for Peace. Also thank you for the knitted blankets which went to Christian Hope International. They were given to our Social Concern Chair Joan Colwell at our November Council meeting.

Knitting for Nepal

Thankyou for knitting so many hats and wristwarmers. Joan Colwell is shown handing these over. They will be taken to Nepal this autumn. The project is now closed
Children in Nepal wearing the hats and wrist warmers we sent with the Fire Cadets

Fiddle Pinnies

At council on 29th June 2013, Joan Colwell showed us her Activity Quilt - known as a Fiddle Pinnie. When a person has dementia they may become very bewildered about their environment and often become agitated and begin plucking at their clothing. These quilts enable them to be distracted and provide a constructive activity.
At the All Unit Conference in September, Joan was able to show people the "activity quilts" and this idea has been taken up by many of the delegates there. Lynne Tembey has taken a quilt to show as she tours the UK and one was given to Sheila Lewis from the Diocese of Europe as a gift for her sister who suffers from dementia. This idea is also being included in the "Inspired" file which is produced by the MSH team. For instructions on how to make a fiddle pinnie click here

Cheshire Show 2017

Once again Mothers' Union ran the baby changing tent at the Cheshire Show. Pictured after their customers had gone home are the Wednesday gang who took on 200 babies that day on the hottest/longest day of the year - being 21 June!

Cheshire Show 2015

Knutsford Deanery Mothers' Union coordinated another successful Mother and Baby Facility at the Cheshire Show this year and were blessed with glorious weather

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Bringing up children can be fun and rewarding, but it is not always easy. Sometimes being a parent can feel like the hardest and loneliest job in the world.
You may turn to a book for advice but it is also helpful to talk to others in a similar situation. Mothers' Union can set up informal parents groups where you can meet other parents and together you can learn how to bring up happy, confident children. Away from the busyness of home, in a supportive environment you can make new friends, share ideas, talk about the joys and challenges of child rearing and have FUN.
The group gives you a chance to share your experiences with others, to learn from their mistakes and share yours! We do not tell you what to do but offer skills and ideas for you to try with your family. In a 6-8 week course. DVD's, handbooks and discussions will focus on topics such as problem solving and confidence building.
Mothers' Union parenting facilitators are volunteers who have undergone training and gained accreditation through the Open College Network.
For more information please contact The Mothers' Union Office, 9 Abbey Square, Chester CH1 2HU
E:mothersunionchester@care4free T:01244 400 491 Tuesday and Thursday 10.30am- 2.30pm
This display was in Chester Cathedral in July

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blackpool (235K)

Away-from-it-all holidays

Away from it all holidays is a scheme that offers caravan holidays to families who have been subjected to Domestic Violence or that they have a disabled child who needs 24/7 care , and some just need time out to reassess the family unit.

The Haven Caravan Parks that are used are around Blackpool and North Wales, which are of easy access as we don't provide transport. Each van is supplied with linen, and free entertainment passes. Cots and High Chair are available if needed. Each family is provided with a hamper of food and goodies.

Every referral is special as each family has some kind of problem and to offer them a holiday is so rewarding for them and the referees. The referrals come from Women's Aid refuges, Social Services, Doctors and Clergy.

We have sent 13 families comprising 19 adults and 35 children away in 2013. They are all very grateful to Mothers' Union, as some have never had a holiday.

The letters and pictures received afterwards of how much they have enjoyed the holiday and how it has given them the strength and confidence to carry on, is heart-warming as many of them are at breaking point.

To be able to send more families away we need more funds.

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Helping Visitors to the Young Offenders Prison at Thorn Cross

Mothers' Union members from Great Budworth and Frodsham Deaneries help to look after the children of visitors to Thorn Cross YOI on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Some are the children of relatives of the prisoners, and some are their own children.

There is a very well-equipped safe play area adjoining the visiting hall and the children come and go freely between the two. Quite often families have travelled a considerable distance and so it is a great help to have somewhere where the children can be active. In good weather the children can play out in a secure grassed area leading out from the play room.

Visits are a stressful time for the lads and their families, so this facility is a great help for everyone involved and is much appreciated.

Two Mothers' Union members play and talk with the children. Often there is an opportunity to chat to visitors. There is no contact with the prisoners. There are two sessions of one hour during the afternoon. Numbers of children vary, not usually exceeding six. The childrens' ages range from pre-school to juniors and there are suitable toys for everyone.

Mothers' Union members also attend events organised by the Chaplaincy team at the prison, such as Carol services and concerts.

New volunteers for this work are always welcome. There is an urgent need for help on Sunday afternoons. Anyone interested should contact the Mothers' Union Office at Chester. CRB clearance is required.

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Virtual Babies

The aim of the virtual baby program is to help reduce the high instance of un-wanted pregnancies particularly in teenagers and to educate them on the realities of parenthood.

Through one of the Virtual baby computer programmes we let children (Year 10, 14-15 year old boys and girls) explore the realities of looking after a baby.

One of the main messages we deliver is that in life we have to make a series of choices about subjects such as careers, money, education, social life and parenting. Mothers' Union message is "to make a conscious choice to become a parent when it is the right time for you and your partner".

The interaction and feedback from the children was and continues to be excellent they learn such things as:

  • Babies are not just toys to dress up and sit in prams (many believe this).
  • Babies are demanding requiring constant care from the parents 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year, for many years to come!
  • Crying is the baby's only way of communicating and can be very hard for the parents.
  • Sharing the load through two parents is much more rewarding and responsible for babies and parents alike.
  • All life decisions (career, money, social life, becoming a parent etc) are better considered rather than entered into without thought of the real impact.
  • The importance of Hygiene with babies and children.
  • The risks of drug taking in pregnancy including smoking and drinking.
  • Key safety messages such as not leaving babies unattended, on worktops, nears animals such as dogs and cats.
  • Babies need constant patient care and love. Every baby is special and unique.

Congleton Virtual Babies

Virtual Babies
To purchase our first baby we asked our members to contribute £2 each. We called our first baby Grace.
The project has been running with Congleton High School and Holmes Chapel High School. Funds have been raised from different sources including:
Congleton Inclosure Trust
Mayoral funds
Continued contributions by Mothers' Union members
There is now a team of seven ladies who share the responsibility of going into the schools with the babies and delivering the messages.
The results of the project can only be measured by the extremely positive feedback from teachers and children, so much so that the purchase of more babies became necessary We have subsequently purchased two more babies, Jacob and David.. As one Mothers' Union member said, "if it stops one unwanted pregnancy it has been worthwhile"! An added bonus for us (the team going into the schools) is meeting and talking to the pupils who continue to show an enthusiastic interest.

Wirral Virtual Babies

Virtual Babies
The Wirral Virtual Baby Project is a team effort from four Deaneries in Chester Diocese: Wallasey, Wirral North, Wirral South and Birkenhead. During 2008 we planned out what was needed with much help and guidance from Jenny Gillies, our Family Life Officer, who had used the babies before. We had training from Life Choices, who make the babies and we bought five. Money was provided by local Churches and Charities as well as donations from branches in the four Deaneries. Our babies are Josh, Lucy, Lily, Chloe and Isaac to us but the pupils name their own baby for the weekend that they take them home. We are now working with Whitby High School in Ellesmere Port and Wallasey School.

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Ouch Pouches

A big thank you to everyone who "bought" the little prayer banners. 30 ouch pouches (containing a mini first aid kit) have been taken to Bridge Foyer in Chester - they were very grateful.
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Action and Outreach National Conference 2014

At the conference, Joan Colwell had a stall showing what we get up to in Chester Diocese, particularly showing the Fiddle Pinnies and other items of knitting. Jeannette Appleton introduced the MU Monopoly game which many branches have used to show Mothers' Union work to others.

Wedding Fairs

Some members help local clergy at Wedding Fairs to promote Marriage in Church.
The Mothers' Union objective 'To support marriage' is acted out in this project and members report that it is a privilege to help couples as they plan their marriage service. Mothers' Union coordinate the provision of resources for the stand. We liaise with the Archant Brides, who kindly provide a stand free of charge for the Church of England to provide information and advice about a religious wedding ceremony.
Shrigley Hall 2014
Thornton Hall 2014

Do you want to be involved in worthwhile projects like these?

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