Winnies Blog

Can you help Pat with a hat?


Orla, who works here in Winnie’s Craft Cafe has written the following appeal for hats.  If you can help we would be delighted.  It is a great way to use up the yarn left over from the ends of projects!

“The Billy Riordan Memorial Fund was set up by Mags Riordan in 2001.  Her son Billy drowned in Lake Malawi in 1999.  After many visits to the area Mags set up the charity in his memory! 

The Billy Riordan Memorial Clinic was opened in 2004 in Cape Maclear, it provides the only medical service in the area to a population of 275,000 and now treats people even further afield.  The main conditions are Malaria, Arthritis, childhood illnesses and infections.

The trust opened a HIV/AIDS clinic in 2009.  Counselling, testing and antiretroviral drugs are available at the clinic.

The clinic also sponsors the education of some of the local students.  Unfortunately due to lack of funding they have currently only 8 students attending secondary school and 1 attending University.

Fundraising is vital to the Trust.  As they do not receive any annual funding from the Department of Overseas Aid (Irish Aid) they are totally dependent on the generosity of individuals to maintain their projects in Malawi.  They also rely on volunteer doctors & nurses.

My Father Pat Duffy goes out to Cape Maclear each year for 3-6 months to volunteer at the clinic.  He is not a doctor but helps around the village checking if any of the locals need medical attention, grains or even a roof.  He also helps with any driving or collecting of medical supplies from Blantyre which is a 15 hour drive away. 

The days in Malawi can be very hot but the nights can get very cold.  This is why we have come with an idea to help the local children or adults in the village. 

If you would like to help, we are going to try and collect as many knitted or crocheted hats in any size to be sent over with Pat in April.  You can use cotton or wool in any colours - the brighter the better!  Either will keep the sun off during the day and keep them warm at night.  Suggested patterns are on; Knitted Hat - Free Baby Stripey Sun Hat Knitting Pattern, Crochet Hat - Cheri Hat, but any cheerful sunhat would be great.

Thank you for your help!!


Back to Entries