Mile Cross mother hopes to knit her way to world record

Jill Bale who is aiming to knit the longest scarf, about three miles, and break the record, as a fundraiser for the Catton Grove Primary School. Jill Bale who is aiming to knit the longest scarf, about three miles, and break the record, as a fundraiser for the Catton Grove Primary School.

Dominic Bareham dominic.bareham2@archant.co.uk
Friday, December 20, 2013
4:53 PM

A Mile Cross mother has got designs on a world record, but her record bid could take 20 years to complete and will also raise money for an African orphanage.

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Jill Bale, 39, of Cossgrove, is hoping to beat the record for the world’s longest scarf, which is currently held by Norwegian Helge Johansen and stands at 2.15 miles long.

However, in order to complete her challenge she is calling on Norwich residents to provide her with balls of wool, along with a 50p donation to help the Friends of Ket Wangi orphanage in Kisumu, Kenya.

She said: “I am aiming to do more than the two miles. I am aiming for three miles, which will take me roughly 15-20 years.”

Mrs Bale’s two children, Chelsea, five and Aaron, three, both attend Catton Grove Primary School, which has close links to the charity.

The school has been raising money for the orphanage after being contacted by Emily Odera, a mother and nurse living in Mombasa, who transformed what was to be her retirement home into an orphanage, school and widow support group.

Her decision to set up the orphanage was in response to a plea from her community following the devastation of the 2008 political violence and the impact of AIDS.

With the help of a few widows, she set about caring for nearly 70 children by contributing part of her salary as a nurse and growing sugar cane in a field next to the house.

She also decided immediately to set up a school as the nearest was three miles away, run down and not up to the standards that she wanted for the children if they were to have a chance in life.

She named the orphanage Ket Wangi, meaning “wait and see”.

Now the orphanage cares for 82 children, with 23 of them being HIV positive.

For more information about the charity, visit http://www.ketwangi.org.

To donate to Mrs Bale’s appeal, either post to 3 Cossgrove, Mile Cross, Norwich, NR3 2SR or visit the Facebook page “Knitting for Africa.”

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