Thank you to our readers for another amazing year. We look back at how your kindness and generosity has made an incredible difference to people – and animals – in 2017
Editor Sharon says: Our wonderful readers never cease to amaze me. When we tell you about good causes, campaigns or individuals who need our support, you’re always happy to help. Reading this round-up of everything we’ve achieved this year, it feels like we are such a lovely, caring community. I hope you’ll agree that together we do make a real difference. I’d like to say thank you, on behalf of everyone who has benefited from your kindness, and here’s to an equally life-changing 2018.
Transforming people’s lives
Every year, we’re bowled over by the compassion you show towards people you’ve never even met. And that was particularly true this year when we published a charity craft project in January (issue 264) asking you to make dresses for poverty-stricken girls who’ve never worn a dress, let alone owned one that’s been specially made for them. We received well over 1,000 beautifully hand-crafted dresses – and they’re still coming in - find the pattern here. They’ve already brought huge smiles to so many girls around the world.
You were equally big-hearted when we told you about foodKIND (issue 264) a charity bringing food and hope to refugees in Greece. Within two weeks of our feature appearing, they’d received £2,000 in donations from you, and since then the total has reached a staggering £4,000. Thanks to you, the charity is now providing a new food distribution scheme, giving up to 400 of the most vulnerable people in southern Greece two meals a day and other essential items such as blankets and toiletries.
Lynne Misner, our Wonder Woman in a September issue (issue 281) was amazed by your kindness when she received £360 in donations towards her Warm in Winter project distributing vital packs containing items to keep older people in her community warm. She also received a mountain of beautiful knitted items to go into the warming packs.
Campaigns that matter
When we first raised the issue of the declining number of public toilets in Britain in 2016, we found we’d really hit a nerve. You wrote to us in your hundreds telling us how concerned you were about the problem and when we asked you to send in pledge cards to show your support for keeping loos open, we received an incredible 797 responses.
And so it was, armed with all your correspondence, that this February we knocked on the office door of Marcus Jones MP, the Minister for Local Government, whose remit covers public conveniences, to raise the issue on your behalf ( issue 265). We are pleased to report that action is now being taken – a new bill is currently going through Parliament to reduce the hefty business rates local councils currently pay on public conveniences, hopefully helping keep more loos open in the future.
Pathfinder Dogs, which we featured in March (issue 268), were over the moon to receive more than £1,000 in donations towards training German Shepherd dogs for the blind.
Their plea for bras and bottle tops which they could then convert into funds for the charity also saw them inundated with responses. What’s more, thanks to the article, one Yours reader whose husband is blind applied to Pathfinder for an assistance dog and is going to be matched with one of their trained pooch companions soon!
Meanwhile, when we revisited the story of the Wetnose Animal Aid (issue 279), which supports tiny, independent animal charities surviving on the breadline, they received £2,000 in donations, with more flooding in all the time.
The story of The Wonkey Donkey Sanctuary (issue 278) really struck a chord with you. Moved by the story of the owners who were facing challenging times following their night of terror in the Manchester Arena bombings, dozens of you sent in letters and generous donations, raising more than £4000 to directly support the donkeys.
You’ve got it covered
Whatever you’re after, our Do You Have column is the place to find it! We’ve had some brilliant responses this year.
Elaine Elliott and Vera Shute from Leeds were delighted by the countless packages of yarn, knitting patterns and buttons they received to knit for premature babies. Thanks to the wool sent in, Vera, pictured right, was also able to knit 60 twiddlemuffs for local hospital wards and care homes to help people with dementia.
Sandra Webb’s request saw her receive more than 800 pairs of glasses which are being sent to Uganda and Lesotho for people who cannot afford to buy specs, while M Curtis’ request for a Thomas Knitting Pattern has allowed her to knit her grandson a cardigan to treasure.