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BAGS of help for the environment is being achieved with a Fontwell charity’s new venture.
The Aldingbourne Trust has its own reusable bags to raise funds for its work with adults with learning disabilities and autism, thanks to the mother of a volunteer at its country centre.
Cathy Tiley ensures empty hessian bags are no has-beens by using her sewing skills to create the long-lasting goods. She is working with the earthworks project at the centre, just north of the A27, to print and sew on the trust’s logo.
Gill Nudds, the earthworks project lead, said: “This is such a fantastic opportunity for the people we are supporting in our department. It is a completely new set of skills they will gain.”
The wood team has also got involved. Its project lead, Brian Alden, was given an old leather sofa which Cathy stripped for the bag handles. She came back to the UK after 30 years abroad when her husband started a job in London. Their four children had grown up and she wanted to make good use of her time.
Two of her children work at a coffee roasters and tea merchant and Cathy noticed piles of coffee sacks made out of hessian. With the 5p levy on plastic bags, Cathy realised the unwanted items could become sturdy and practical shopping bags. One of her sons, Ed, had begun to volunteer at the country centre and Cathy wanted to offer help. She said: “We all have a connection to someone with a learning disability in some way. The difference in Ed has been remarkable and he is in such a better place now, which is fantastic. It is now my turn to give something back.”