Skip to content

Sue has fundraising sewn up – and it's money for old Rope

A teacher has dug out a 40-year-old sewing machine so she can make her own craft items and raise funds for a Christian charity ...

Sue Dunn, 60, was given the machine for her 21st birthday but it has been gathering dust in her loft for the best part of four decades.

But Sue, who teaches French and German part-time, has started sewing again after reading a book on how to make handmade bags. She remembered her old sewing machine and now uses it regularly.

The committed Christian, who attends Thornbury Baptist Church near Bristol, sells the bags to friends and family and at craft fairs. All the funds she raises go to Christian development charity Rope.

Sue said: “I’ve had more time on my hands in the last two years due to my work schedule slowing down and I was praying about what I should do next and what God wanted me to do with my life.

“I wanted to do something to help the poor but knew I couldn’t abandon my husband and go to the jungle for six months, and I’ve also had some health problems.

“I was looking on the Internet and saw a book about making handmade bags. I bought it and thought that this was the perfect thing for me to do. I could sell the bags and raise money for Rope.

“I’d not used the sewing machine since my children were little and they’re grown up now. But I dusted it down and it seems in great condition. I can’t believe I’m using the old thing but it’s doing the job so I’ve got no plans to replace it.

“I’ve made bags and bunting for Christmas and for children and although I’m not exceptionally gifted, I get good feedback and people seem to like them.”

In almost two years, Sue has raised more than £1,300 for the charity. Amazingly, the cash generated helps a project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo that enables former prostitutes to learn dress making and tailoring.

Sue added: “It’s remarkable that the items I sell are helping women at the other side of the world learn trades such as sewing. It’s only a little thing but hopefully it can make a real difference to broken lives.”

Find out more about the charity's work at

Get more inspiring reading

To find back issues of the INSPIRE mini-mag - seasonal and themed issues - go to