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Ninety-five-year-old grandmother creates hundreds of dresses for Ugandan children living in poverty

PUBLISHED: 14:37 18 January 2020 | UPDATED: 14:37 18 January 2020

95 yo Anna Bayles makes clothes from recycled material and sends them to children in Uganda. Pictures: Brittany Woodman

95 yo Anna Bayles makes clothes from recycled material and sends them to children in Uganda. Pictures: Brittany Woodman

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A 95-year-old seamstress who learned her trade from French nuns will fly her clothes more than 6,000 miles, to help orphans in some of the poorest corners of the world.

95 yo Anna Bayles makes clothes from recycled material and sends them to children in Uganda. Pictures: Brittany Woodman95 yo Anna Bayles makes clothes from recycled material and sends them to children in Uganda. Pictures: Brittany Woodman

Anne Bayles, from Wymondham, has been sewing since she was a child, taught by nuns in the rural Picardy region of France, where she was born.

The keen dress-maker moved to Wymondham in 1946, and married her late husband, Jack Bayles.

Together, the pair adopted four children, who have since gone on to have their own children.

Despite being in her mid-90s, Mrs Bayles has no intention of slowing down her hobby, and creates hundreds of garments each month, with help from her six grandchildren and their families.

95 yo Anna Bayles makes clothes from recycled material and sends them to children in Uganda. Pictures: Brittany Woodman95 yo Anna Bayles makes clothes from recycled material and sends them to children in Uganda. Pictures: Brittany Woodman

Now, the former-teacher's hand-made clothes will make the 6,000 mile trip to Uganda, in east Africa, on a mission to kick-start its economy, to be gifted to children and adults still living below the poverty line.

Twenty suitcases full of Mrs Bayliss' clothes will be presented by members of the Attleborough based Uganda Support Fund Charity, whose year-round fund-raising events contribute hundreds to help improve living conditions for Ugandan families.

The 95-year-old said seeing photographs of people enjoying her clothes often moved her to "tears of joy".

She said: "I don't drink or smoke so any spare money I put into this because I love it.

A photo of Ugandan children wearing clothes made by Anne Bayles. Photo: Uganda Support Fund CharityA photo of Ugandan children wearing clothes made by Anne Bayles. Photo: Uganda Support Fund Charity

"Even if I wake up at 5am I'm excited to get on with it, I just love it so much"

One of the things that sets Mrs Bayles's clothes apart from others is that they are made entirely from recycled materials bought at charity shops.

Second-hand sheets, pillowcases, and quilt covers are all transformed into wearable outfits, with Mrs Bayles's grandchildren picking out the buttons and ribbons.

A spokesman for the charity said: "Anne is a remarkable lady and many of her dresses, skirts, shorts, and skirts are taken to Uganda by people who travel there with Attleborough charity Uganda Support Fund. They are well received by those in Uganda who have so little to call their own."

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