< Event Archives – Mamie Martin Fund

Coffee Day success in Falkirk

Mariot Dallas reports:

We had a very enjoyable MMF Coffee Day at the end of May in Trinity Church hall, with a steady flow of customers for hot drinks, filled rolls and delicious home baking.  We were happy to welcome regular customers from Trinity Church, passers-by who saw the banner and smelt the coffee and a heartwarming number of MMF friends who made a special journey to Falkirk to support the event. You know who you are and we were delighted to see you!

John Dallas’s accordion playing set our toes tapping. The Freedom of Mind Community Choir sang a selection of well-loved favourites and soon had us all singing along. In the kitchen, MMF Trustees and volunteers worked hard as they learned how to operate the kitchen equipment. In no time we were operating as a plausible catering team!

We raised over £400 in donations. We enjoyed telling the MMF story through our publicity material. The small prints of some of the Mamie and Jack historic photos from the 1920s generated a lot of interest.

We are grateful to Nina, business manager from the church, for all her help and encouragement. We hope to book the hall again in December for a Christmas Coffee Day. Watch this space.

Falkirk Coffee day Sat 25th May

Mariot writes about our upcoming coffee day in Falkirk:

“I very seldom drink coffee, I’m mostly rooibos and herbal teas. Coffee is for special occasions, when I’m out about and spending time with my friends and is often accompanied by cake or some other sweet treat.

Saturday 25 May is marked on my calendar already because there will be a Coffee Day in Falkirk, in Trinity Church Hall  FK11JN, from 11.00 till 14.30. It’s a fundraiser for the Mamie Martin Fund, a Scottish charity which helps girls in Malawi get their secondary education. It’s a great cause to support and when you come to the Coffee Day our photos and displays will tell you why. As you enjoy your refreshments and browse the displays, you can also enjoy some live music from the Freedom of Mind Community Choir and from John Dallas on the accordion.

Did I mention the soup? Freshly prepared soup and filled rolls are on the menu, along with a selection of sweet treats.

So, tea, coffee, and sweet treats; soup and filled rolls; live entertainment AND supporting girls in school in Malawi … what’s not to like? Save the date now!

Look forward to seeing you.”

AGM 2023 – Sat 4th Nov 13:00 – 15:00 UK time

Are you signed up for our online AGM yet? Our keynote speaker is Precious Mhone who works in Embangweni Secondary School for Deaf Children. She will tell us about her school, the community and her pupils. Her positivity shines through, even as she describes some of the barriers faced by these young people. Then Kevin Simpson of Malawi Fruits will speak to us about how that organisatoin is empowering women in the agricultural sector in Malawi.

We’d be delighted to have your support at this AGM. You can register here (free) or watch the livestream on our Facebook page.

AGM Keynote speaker announced

We are delighted to announce that Mrs Precious Mhone, Boarding Mistress at Embangweni Secondary School for Deaf Children, will be a keynote speaker at our forthcoming AGM. This will be held online so that we can include colleagues and friends from Malawi. The online format also allows many other supporters to join without having to travel.

Precious will tell us about her school, the pupils and their lives. We are proud to support 15 girls at Embangweni in the coming school year. Seven of those are supported through the Thompson Fund, set up in the memory of Jack and Phyllis Thompson. Because of the strong fundraising to this Fund, we have increased the number of girls whom we can support. This year’s amazing fundraising is being done by Helen Nyul, who is undertaking The ROC England – a fearsome triathlon in the Lake District.

Our AGM will be held via Zoom on Sat Nov 4th at 13:00 UK time. We would be delighted if you could join us. The event is free and open to all. You can register here.

Birthday celebration at Dalgety Bay

Saturday 27th May heralded our #Birthday30 celebration, held in Dalgety Parish Church in Fife. We hosted a coffee morning with some very special guests and the support of Isabel Stanners, a very special baker!

This was the final event for the UK visit of our Malawi Country Director, Mercy Sibande. We were joined by Alison Cameron who, after many years of being our Scottish Patron, is standing down. She told us of finding out about the Mamie Martin Fund 30 years ago and spoke very kindly of the work we do!

The Rev. William Tembo, General Secretary of the CCAP Synod of Livingstonia, who was in Scotland at that time for the Church of Scotland General Assembly, also joined us! Two of our newest Trustees made special journeys from England to be with us!

Everyone agreed that the morning was a great success. Lots of local people came in for coffee and cake, including two of our local councillors, Sarah Neale and David Barratt, and they all enjoyed hearing about our work. Isobel had made a beautiful birthday cake for us and Mercy managed to speak to everyone. The buzz in the room was exhilarating! 

Our thanks to Rev Christine Sime, Dalgety Parish Church Minister, for her support, to the catering team and to all those who came to help us celebrate! Also, for the very generous donations we received, amounting to almost £500!

Find out more about our #Birthday30 activities here.

Wide gathering of supporters in Lancashire

Mercy had a very warm welcome in Lancashire

Mercy Sibande, MMF’s Malawi Country Director, is on a mini-tour of supporters in the UK. Last weekend she was in Lancashire where a group of churches supports six MMF girls in Karonga, in the far north of Malawi.

The Lancashire West Methodist ‘Circuit’ of 10 churches held an event at Up Holland on Sunday 21st May. It was open to visitors and turned into a fantastic gathering of MMF supporters. Long-standing MMF supporter, Emyln Evans, travelled 97 miles each way to attend with his wife, Anne. Emyln is pictured pouring over a map of Malawi with Mercy. Our Manchester Marathon runners, Phil and Hannah, came 75 miles to meet Mercy. The event made them want to move back to Malawi, where they lived for many years.

We were hosted by the Up Holland members, led by Linda Jones. We were the first people to use their new garden and the lovely weather was just right for it. The formal part of the event was led by the Rev Alex Laing. Newly-elected Cllr Sam Riches from Lancaster attended and became our photographer. Thanks Sam! The event was filmed by Derek Ashcroft for sharing with those supporters who were unable to attend. We were honoured to be joined by Michael Tindsley, the Circuit Superintendent.

This MMF-Lancashire West partnership is greatly valued by us and by St Mary’s Secondary School, Karonga. This is one of the best schools in Malawi and the pastoral care of the girls is second-to-none. We were glad to be able to share photos and videos of each of the six girls. Mercy told their stories and answered questions. Her presence in this warm and generous community was much appreciated, as evidenced by this feedback comment,

“How well she speaks and I felt how well she understands the girls. You must feel so pleased and thankful that all the girls are in such great hands. She is an absolute asset to the work of MMF.” [Lancashire West supporter]

Kiltwalking in the rain

On Sunday 30th April, 3,500 people walked in the Glasgow Kitwalk 2023. Among them were Kathleen and Nick, who walked the full 23 miles from Glasgow to Balloch. Captain Violet and her group walked 14.5 miles from Clydebank to Balloch. Toffee, the dog, is too old and stiff for this year’s walk but Simone and her children, Yara (11) and Sa’Ad (13), walked with (Aunty/Captain) Violet and Sud.

In true West of Scotland style, it rained most of the day. Spirits were not dampened, though. There is only so wet you can get. Moira supported the team on her bike, meeting up at pitstops with food, moral support and encouragement. Yara has just come back from her school outdoor-bound week and had sore ankles. These were strapped up by St Andrews First Aid at each pitstop – lots of TLC was administered too and she continued very bravely.

The atmosphere on the Kiltwalks is always great. The fun on the Glasgow one is hard to beat, regardless of the weather. People supported each other, laughed and fooled around and they just ignored the rain. It did clear up just as the MMF team was finishing. That was nice for the photos.

Thanks to those intrepid walkers, to all their supporters and to those who have donated to their fundraising page – there is still time to support them with a wee donation. They have raised enough for a Malawian girl’s fees for three (almost four) years. Wow!


Dad & Daughter ran for Malawi

Against the backdrop of the horrendous effects of Cyclone Freddy in Southern Malawi and a drought in the North, it has been great to see the positivity around Hannah and Phil Wright running in the Manchester Marathon today. What a great good-news story. They completed the 42 kms (26.2 miles) in 3 hours and 57 minutes. How amazing is that?. Phil and Hannah have been running together for 10 years but this was their first marathon. Hannah explains:

I started doing cross country at primary school in Malawi. Dad used to run the cross country club at our school and we ran around the botanical gardens in Zomba together. Dodging the baboons! This is our first race together and will be a massive challenge. We enjoy running as it is a way to spend time together and stay fit.”

Hannah and Phil have already raised enough money to send a Malawian girl to school for three of the four years of secondary school. They are overwhelmed by this generous support of family and friends. They are well on the way to making it a full four years of funding.

The engagement on social media today was lovely. Friends from far and wide posted encouragment and made donations. Old friends rediscovered each other too. Almost all the donations of the £1k already raised came in small amounts – £5, £10, £20. Never think that your donation is too small to make a difference. It is the only thing that does – to paraphrase Margaret Mead.

MMF photo exhibition doing ‘the rounds’

We are delighted that the photos of our work in Malawi are now in their fourth venue in Lancashire, England. Our partners there, the Lancashire West Methodist Circuit, are ensuring that as many people as possible get to hear about our work.

Our Lancashire West partnership supports six girls at secondary school in Karonga, North Malawi. Those girls will be going into their second year (of four) in October. The photos are currently being shown in Holmes Methodist Church. Three other churches are involved with Holmes in this particular exhibition, which runs until 5th September –

You can see the locations and further details of these churches on the Circuit’s website. A ‘Circuit’ in this context is a group of Methodist churches. Our partnership is with the group, rather than any individual church.

Thanks to Helen Hindle for creating this lovely display and sending us these images. Next stop for this exhibition will be Dalgety Bay in Fife, Scotland.

6th July Malawi Independence Day

On the 6th July, we send our very best wishes to our friends and partners in Malawi. In the early twentieth century Malawi was a British protectorate called Nyasaland and in 1964 after independence it became Malawi, the country we know today. Because of Jack and Mamie’s time in Nyasaland in the 1920s, our friendship goes back a long way. We know from their diaries and letters that Jack and Mamie loved Nyasaland/Malawi. They enjoyed learning the language, making new friends and exploring the beautiful lakeside flora and fauna. The friendships they made were long-lasting and can be traced right through to the network of donors and supporters of the Mamie Martin Fund today. Mamie and Jack would be delighted at the strong links today between our two countries, supported by the Malawi Scotland Partnership and the Scotland Malawi Partnership.  

‘Milunga dalitsani Malawi’: God bless Malawi!