Projects

Jesus, Lord of life, by the power of your word and through your actions of love, call us to be your disciples.  Give us strength to be different, to stand up for justice and peace and be signs of your reconciling love for all.

Hospital Projects

Mothers’ Union members in the Diocese of St. Albans are involved in several projects in conjunction with local hospitals.

The Lister Hospital in Stevenage is provided with Story Bags for Play Leaders to use in the children’s wards.  Older children are given activity bags which contain puzzles and books to help pass the time in hospital.

 

Luton and Dunstable Hospital has a busy Special Care Baby Unit and members sew sheets and knit blankets especially for incubators.

 For babies who are born very prematurely, and therefore, very small, we make tiny bonnets, romper suits and dresses and these are gratefully received by the parents who cannot find such small items in the shops.  At Christmas, a small stocking is hung on the end of the incubators which contain gifts for the baby.

 Both these hospitals, and also the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, are provided with emergency washbags for adults and children who are admitted via A&E or at short notice.

 Mothers’ Union members have been connecting up with the children in our parish churches to put together washbags specifically designed for children.  The children are asked to bring along specified toiletry items and use this opportunity to pray for other children.

Shephall

 When the bags are completed they are then blessed at a church service and they are then distributed to the hospitals by Mothers’ Union.  The children’s washbag project is our newest project and the children say they  like to do something for other children, especially those in hospital.

For some frail patients in hospital or care homes,  Memory Books, provided by members, are a good way of stimulating their memory and visitors are able to use them as a topic of conversation.

Members also make jumpers and cardigans for older children (aged 8-12) which are sent to the colder areas of Europe via Humanitarian Aid.

Away From It All holidays

 

For many years Mothers’ Union members have been raising funds for the Away From It All holiday scheme.  Families who are finding life tough because of  illness, redundancy or caring for another, can find that a short break away eases the burden for a while.  Mothers’ Union in the Diocese of St. Albans generally offer a holiday in Norfolk at a holiday park but holidays are provided to suit the person or family.  Those applying for a holiday do not have to be a member of a church or any organisation but the application must be supported by someone like  the clergy, a doctor, social worker, head-teacher.

Parenting children is the most important job in the world.  It is also one of the hardest!  Meeting the needs of parents and supporting them in their role, is a key priority for Mothers’ Union. Local members have undertaken the Passionate About Parenting training for facilitators which is externally accreditied by the Open College London Network.  The facilitators organise small groups of parents who want to share concerns, adopt new solutions and strengthen their own family life.

One mum with five-year-old twin girls and an 18 month-old by said her twins used to fight and scream as soon as she came home. “Coming home from work was a nightmare until I tried the ‘listening well’ skills discussed at the parenting group, with the twins.  Five minutes really hearing them as I walk in the door relieves all the tension”.

Contact Centres

It is well known that it is vital for the emotional well-being of children to keep in contact with both parents after family breakdown and a contact centre is a neutral, informal venue where children can meet the parent no longer sharing their home.  Referrals to the centre are made by the courts.

Mothers’ Union is involved in three contact centres in Hertfordshire.   The centre in Tring was set up by Mothers’ Union in collaboration with Churches Together ten years ago and Cheshunt has been running for nearly 15 years. The Contact Centre in St. Albans is the Mothers’ Union newest venture having been set up three years ago and is run solely by members.dad with boys

 Volunteer members say ‘it is rewarding  to see the faces of the older children in particular, on seeing their father for the first time for months or, in some cases, years’.  Grandparents attend too.  As time goes by families ‘move on’ by making their own contact arrangements away from the centres and sometimes the relationship between the parents improve which helps  children come to terms with their parents’ separation.

Prison Work

For many years, members in the Diocese of St. Albans have sent Christmas cards to the prisoners and staff at Bedford Prison and The Mount in Bovingdon.  These are greatly appreciated and let the prisoner know there are people thinking of them at Christmas.

Fundraising

Over the past five years, members have taken on the responsibility of raising  funds for small projects abroad.  Mothers’ Union Development Workers using their knowlege of their communities request funds to help with their work.  St. Albans Mothers’ Union has supplied mosquito nets, training for health workers,  bicycles and small animals for families in countries such as Uganda, Burundi and Mozambique.

 In 2011 we are supporting the ‘Wheels Appeal’ campaign to raise money to help Mothers’ Union women in countries where there are poor roads, no phone lines, no public transport.  These are all symptoms of poverty.  The women,  regularly drive or walk for days in baking heat or driving rain, to visit the sick, to be with those who are dying, to support those left behind. They sometimes can’t get where they’re needed, because they can’t afford fuel, or bus tickets or vehicle repairs.  We, in the Diocese of St. Albans, will be joining in the national campaign by baking and selling cakes, organising tea or coffee mornings and any number of other fun things to help.

Worldwide projects, such as the Literacy and Development Programme, the Family Life Programme, the Worldwide Parenting Programme are all supported by our members in St. Albans both in prayer and finance.

   For more details of these worldwide programmes see www.themothersunion.org

Care to help?

If you would like to be involved in any of our projects, please contact the secretary on: 01727 858979

email: sec_mustalbans@btconnect.com

  • Families First Magazine
    Keep up to date on how Mothers' Union members are encouraging strong marriages, good parenting and active faith in Britain and worldwide.

    • Practical articles on relationships
    • Support for parents and grandparents
    • Ways to put faith into action
    • Fairtrade and eco-friendly products

    6 issues a year at £2.75 per copy
  • New Online Shop

    Shop with us
    Support the work of the Mothers' Union by shopping at our brand new online shop.