A Cullercoats woman is hoping a stitch in time will help improve the lives of underprivileged women in Uganda.
Patricia Soskolsky is putting her retirement to good use by travelling to Kampala, Uganda, where she will spend up to three weeks teaching women how to sew.
The 66-year-old will join an Australian team of sewing teachers as part of SewAID International, a programme which offers women in very poor Third World countries the opportunity to learn how to sew and start a small home business in dressmaking, alterations and repairs.
Patricia will be teaching a selected group of women at the Kutuuso School and Community Centre, which is situated in an isolated area outside Kampala.
Patricia, of Beverley Terrace, said: “I am passionate about sewing and would love nothing better than to pass on my skills to help women escape shocking poverty.
“I know that my volunteering work in Uganda will not make a drastic difference to the actual country or its people in the time that I will be there, but I know I can make a small yet significant change in the women’s lives.
“I will be providing them with skills they need to start a small home business in dressmaking.”
Patricia was diagnosed with endometrial cancer in October last year and following 28 treatments of radiotherapy in January, she is now in remission.
Before she became ill, Patricia had said it had always been her dream to pass on her skills to underprivileged women in Third World countries, and having lived in South Africa for 37 years, with short spells in Zambia and Zimbabwe, she believes she has a fair understanding of their struggle.
“I want to make a difference,” she said. “I do not want to sit back and wish I could do this and wish I could do that. I want to do something to help.
“This is going to be my personal challenge and I enjoy a challenge.
“But I do think it is my biggest and it will be without a doubt the most rewarding challenge of my life.”
Patricia is scheduled to leave sometime in October.
To help with the additional costs of the trip, such as travel, accommodation and food, Patricia is holding a fundraising evening at Heaton Stannington Football Club in Grounsell Park, Newton Road, High Heaton, on Saturday, September 28, at 7.30pm.
The event will include a buffet supper and entertainment by Hannah Rickard and The Relatives, The Outfit and many more.
Tickets cost £10 per person and £8 for pensioners.
To book, call Patricia on (0191) 251 4962.