Old sewing machine gets new lease of life for charity

An old sewing machine has had a good dusting down and is now being used to make crafts that are raising money for a Christian charity.

Sue Dunn, 60, was looking for a new way to serve God and came across a book on how to make handmade bags.

Rather than just making them for her own use or enjoyment, the part-time French and German teacher decided to dig her 40-year-old sewing machine out the attic so that she could help to support Christian development charity Rope.

Sue said: "I've had more time on my hands in the last two years due to my work schedule slowing down and I was praying about what I should do next and what God wanted me to do with my life.

"I wanted to do something to help the poor but knew I couldn't abandon my husband and go to the jungle for six months, and I've also had some health problems.

"I was looking on the Internet and saw a book about making handmade bags. I bought it and thought that this was the perfect thing for me to do. I could sell the bags and raise money for Rope."

Now the sewing machine that was barely touched for decades is being used regularly to make bags that are sold to friends and family, and at craft fairs.

"I'd not used the sewing machine since my children were little and they're grown up now. But I dusted it down and it seems in great condition. I can't believe I'm using the old thing but it's doing the job so I've got no plans to replace it," Sue continued.

"I've made bags and bunting for Christmas and for children and although I'm not exceptionally gifted, I get good feedback and people seem to like them."

In almost two years, Sue has raised more than £1,300 for the charity and the money has gone on projects in the Democratic Republic of the Congo ministering to former prostitutes and helping them to learn dress making and tailoring.

Sue adds: "It's remarkable that the items I sell are helping women at the other side of the world learn trades such as sewing. It's only a little thing but hopefully it can make a real difference to broken lives."

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