Working with Purple Community Fund (PCF) and Rita Caswell’s legacy
Members are proud to have worked with Purple Community Fund since 2017. Members were delighted to welcome Jane Walker MBE, CEO as speaker at our Supper meeting. Jane spoke about her work of 20 years in Metro Manila, the Philippines with a community who live literally on a rubbish dump next to the port. 20,000 individuals live on the site and PCF support around 8,000 providing livelihood, health and education programmes. The Club had received a legacy from a long-serving and treasured member Rita Caswell which enabled members in October 2017 to fund the building and equipping a Health Clinic and the training of 30 Health Care support workers.
Building the Health Clinic
Work on building the Clinic commenced immediately and was opened in February 2018. Health Care Workers were trained in November. The Clinic operates weekly and while the main health problems are respiratory, patients present with a full range of medical conditions including strokes, heart problems and maternity.
Rain or shine – Wellington boots and umbrellas
We also purchased Wellington Boots for the children to prevent cuts which can cause infection along with umbrellas which can be used both during the rainy season and shelter from the sun.
During 2018/19 members raised over £2000 funds to pay the doctor’s Honorarium.
Visiting the clinic
In July 2019, one of our members Bożena Benton visited PCF to see the clinic and meet the team and community being supported by PCF and Upskills+Foundation. She took with her baby milk, nappies and various other items to help nursing mothers. Following her week in Manila she joined President Jackie in Kuala Lumpur for our International Convention.
Raising funds in Kuala Lumpur
Whilst at the Convention our Club had secured a sales table at which Jane Walker and Marcel with help from Bożena (during breaks) sold artisan ring pull products and jewellery made by the mothers participating in the livelihood programmes run by Upskills+Foundation. The sales table generated a gross donation of around £600 for the Clinic.
Also in July, Taj invited members to an Afternoon Tea with a difference. Samosas and other delights were enjoyed and the afternoon provided a fun event. Whilst Bożena and Jackie were in KL they learned that there was an immediate need for an intestinal deworming programme amongst the families and the money (£550) raised from the Afternoon Tea was sent to PCF to enable Tes and the doctor to undertake the programme.
Showcasing project and artisan ring pull items
In September 2019 showcased PCF and our Health Clinic and sold a range of the ring pull products at Sutton Coldfield Expo.
Friendship link SI Hallamshire help donate items
In October 2019 Bożena and Jackie filled 2 car loads of items made and collected by members and friends of Club. We especially thank our friendship link club SI Hallamshire who were extremely generous in their donation. We drove to Southampton and presented the items to Jane. The beautifully knitted baby clothes, nappies, baby milk, toiletries and toys were shipped to Manila and distributed in February 2020. Proceeds from a raffle and a donation totalling £804 were raised at our Annual Charter Dinner in October.
A donation was made to PCF to help provide food for Christmas as many families are not able to work over this period and therefore have no income.
Face masks protection from volcanic ash
2020 has been particularly difficult for the community. A volcano erupted sending ash across Manila and this aggravated respiratory conditions. Unable to secure face masks the mothers switched from making ring pull items to sewing face masks. A donation was made to enable 400 masks to be made.
COVID-19 and fire devastation
COVID-19 has seen the introduction of lockdown and militia law imposed further limiting or wiping out any opportunity to earn an income. PCF’s reserves of food was depleted so a further donation was made to help provide food. During lockdown a fire swept through the community and resulted in 1055 families being made homeless. A further donation was made towards the rebuilding of shanty accommodation for the families.