Organisation is celebrating its 140th anniversary year

A Mothers Union meeting
A Mothers Union meeting

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THE Mothers’ Union is 140 years old this year and we are celebrating.

We are a worldwide organisation, part of the Anglican Church, that supports marriage and family life.

Mary Sumner started Mothers’ Union (MU) in 1876 in the Old Alresford vicarage. From there it grew and now MU is found in 83 countries.

Right from the beginning, it was recognised that strong relationships and the role of the family, however defined, are crucial in building healthy communities. Today it is still our aim to support families of whatever shape or form.

So what do we do in the community?

We provide hand-made gowns for Queen Alexandra Hospital for the neo-natal unit and comfort teddies for children in A&E or in a trauma situation. Many of our branches gather toiletries for the toilet bags for use at QA’s A&E department for people who are taken there as an emergency and have no washing facilities.

Some members help out at The Roberts Centre and at the child contact centre run from The Roberts Centre that allows estranged parents safe contact with their children.

We have provided flip flops for the Street Pastors to distribute at night to pub-goers and clubbers.

At commercial wedding fairs we run exhibitions where we promote church weddings.

We produce menu cards for many of the food banks in our area with recipes that use the food from the bank.

A new project we have just undertaken is to produce multicoloured knitted items with buttons and cloth sewn into them for those suffering from dementia.

They are designed to be a multi-sensory aid to keep their hands and minds occupied and also to keep their hands warm.

Oh, and of course, I can’t end our work for the wider community without mentioning AFIA (Away from It All) holidays for those needing some time away.

At 1pm on Saturday, July 16 we are holding our annual Festival Service at Holy Trinity, in Gosport, and then from 2.30pm we will be at Walpole Park for refreshments, entertainment and displays of our work.

Visit mu-portsmouth.hampshire.org.uk/