‘With love from Shetland’ – Wool donation makes its way to Syrian refugee women in Beirut

A shipment of wool donated by generous Shetlanders has made its way hundreds of miles to help with the empowerment of Syrian refugees.

Shetland artist Janice Armstrong, who launched the appeal earlier this year, said yesterday the boxes of wool had been met with a “wonderful reaction”.

The wool was donated to the Sabbara social enterprise in Beirut to support its aims providing income and empowerment for vulnerable women through their production of high-end handmade products such as cushions, tablecloths, bedspreads, and accessories.

Around 350kg was donated by kind-hearted Shetland folk earlier this year.

Initially, it was stored at C’est la Vie café in Lerwick, before Northwards transported it south, free of charge, to Cambridge, from where it continued onwards to Beirut in Lebanon. 

Janice said everything had gone “disconcertingly quiet” for several months, with the delays likely posed by the chaotic situation, locally.

“So it was with huge relief and absolute delight that we received photos and videos just two days ago showing the boxes at last safely at the Sabbara headquarters and the wonderful reaction of the women to them,” she said. 

“I have not stopped smiling myself.

“I cannot thank enough all the people who have helped, first and foremost to those who rummaged in their cupboards for bags of wool, Valerie and Didier at C’est la Vie for receiving, storing and helping to pack the wool and to Northwards Transport for so kindly delivering it gratis to Cambridge.

“A team effort and a very happy result. Thank you.”


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  • Janet Ferguson

    • October 23rd, 2021 11:02

    Thank you to the sheep — and the good Lord — we forget ourselves.


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