Locals doing Good

HELPING HANDS, Helping Others.

This local charity group is facilitated by Llynne Matthews and does FANTASTIC work in our community, read on for their story. Thanks Llynne for sharing your story.

Humble Beginnings

Helping Hands was born during May 2011. We had received a request for bootees from Frere Maternity and three friends and I decided to assist and that was the beginning. As we lived in a townhouse complex, a few other residents joined us and we knitted baby jackets, beanies, and the requested bootees.

blankets crocheted by helping hands ladies

Each month we had a get-together to show off what we had made and shared a cup of tea or coffee and a piece of cake.

The Growth

Slowly our numbers increased until we outgrew our lounges. We had to look for a larger venue and Cambridge Methodist Church generously allowed us to use their small hall which had a functional kitchen attached. That was about 4 or 5 years ago and it has become our home away from home.

As the membership grew and more donations were received, we were able to branch out and share our creations with more charities.

We now have 22 members who regularly attend the monthly meetings and we take turns providing eats. In addition to the regular members, we also have approximately 10 ladies who knit, sew, and crochet for us but they prefer not to attend meetings. Their donations are collected by me on a monthly basis.


9 years later and the number of charities we support has grown tremendously, they are:

  • Frere Maternity
  • Cecilia Makiwane Maternity
  • Bless the Child
  • Guardians of Hope
  • Breath of Life
  • CHOC
  • Cansa
  • Zithulele Hospital on the Wild Coast as well as the surrounding community
  • We also supply Masithethe Counselling Services with knitted balls and small teddy bears for traumatized little ones who have been abused
  • We are able to support Fezeka’s Outreach when we have tinned food available. Fezeka Mjemla feeds the street children in the areas of Southernwood, Belgravia, and the area around Frere Hospital
An example of the knitted and crocheted items from helping hands

These charities receive a large assortment of items such as:

  • baby jackets
  • beanies
  • bootees
  • blankets
  • pajamas
  • clothing
  • kiddies jerseys
  • wrist warmers
  • bedsocks
  • scarves

We even make nappy bags at Christmas for new moms. These bags are filled with baby items as well as whatever toiletries we’ve been able to purchase.

Two years ago we took part in Breath of Life’s fundraising ‘knit-a-thon’ over a 2 day period and during that time we gave free knitting and crocheting lessons. In return the visitors knitted or crocheted in a social setting at Breath of Life’s coffee shop and enjoyed refreshments. All items made were donated to our hosts.

Some Needs

We deliver on a monthly basis and depend on donations of wool and fabric. We receive a large wool donation annually from Saprotex and a cash donation from Hudson Park Primary School and that is presented to us once a year at their Harvest Festival.

As we are not a registered NPO, merely a group of self-funding retired ladies with time and skills to share, our needs are always wool as most of the ladies knit and/or crochet. A few talented members sew as well and, while not essential, fabric does also come in handy. Buttons are also needed lately and would be most welcome.

A few of the items that have been sewn by Helping Hands

Contact Info

We have a Facebook page called “Helping Hands Cambridge SA” which is a platform for sharing photos of the items we donate. Feel free to browse through our photos as well as articles and compliments. We’d also love to hear from you, leave us a comment and we’ll quickly strike up a conversation, if we’re not knitting that is…

If you want to get hold of this amazing group, get in touch with Llynne by;

Facebook Feedback


Jackie Du Preez

That is awesome I am still knitting up a storm with beanies and bootees I love it will soon be ready!!!

Lynn Brandt

fantastic work by all the ladies — Llynne Matthewsa sterling job by all concerned

Wendy Zuidema

Well done – so many lovely things. Spreading happiness.

Snoeks Desmond

In Closing

Thanks for taking the time to read this short article about this wonderful group of charitable people in East London. We’d really appreciate it if you helped spread the word about the good work that they do by hitting one of the share buttons below.

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