News & Events

A.G.M. 2013

This years AGM will be held at the Parsonage in Didsbury, June 17th 4pm

All welcome

Concert on the lawn. Friday, June 7th 2013 from 7:30 pm

Come and join us for an evening of music and entertainment at Chorlton Golf Club.  Bring your rugs and blankets and sit back with a drink and enjoy the show.  A six piece jazz band and an Irish folk group.

Fun stalls, raffle, tombola and food available.  We are hoping for a sunny summers evening but if not we can move into the comfort of the clubhouse.

Tickets at £5 each are available at the club house or from members of the Vine committee.  Look forward to seeing you all.

Pat's Visit Jan/Feb 2013

Pat's visit was spent helping the youngsters prepare for their new educational year.  5 Matric (finals) students waited anxiously for their results.  There was great excitement when 4 passed to do degree courses at University.  They had to rush to the various universities, needing transport costs, money to register and money for food.  Some slept in line for 4 days to get to the front, but with Pat's determination, often by their side, they have all now started degree courses.  What an achievement!  They are doing economics, environmental studies, social work and business studies.  2 others are in their second year at university as well. 

Those who started last year at Imfolozi College in the township all passed and have taken up second year places, all with government bursaries.  Pat is now an expert at wading through the bureaucratic minefield that the youngsters would never cope with.  2 boys in their final year at college in Richards Bay have been told they should gain entry into university next year.

41 learners are in primary, middle or high schools with the correct uniform.  This is an exercise itself in logistics as Pat can only take 4 at a time in her car to buy the essential clothing and equipment for school. 

Pat came back completely exhausted but so proud of all who now call themselves the VINE family.  It's wonderful to see them blossom and grow and look out for each other.

Croft Primary School Baking for the Vine Project

After Pat did an assembly for the children of Croft Primary School, the youngsters baked cakes as part of a fair trade coffee morning, depicting the homes and lifestyle of an orphan in South Africa.  They could decorate them any way they wanted and the results were quite spectacular!  The children raised over £500 for the project. 

Many thanks from the children of the Vine Project to all who took part!  

Vine Charity Calendar

The wonderful ladies from the Hawthorns Retirement Apartments have produced their own version of "The Calendar Girls" for 2013.  For a number of years they have supported the Vine Project with knitted scarves, hats, and socks for the grannies and orphans in the township.  This year they decided to do their own calendar to add to the funds they have already raised.  All the photos on the calendar show how much fun they had in putting it together.  Every month you see a different image which is both charming and comical.  The cost of the calendar is £5 and can be ordered by contacting Sonia on tel: 07900 273774

We would like to thank all the ladies from the Hawthorns who took the time and effort to put this great calendar together! 

The final total that the "Calendar Girls" raised was £150!  Many thanks to them all!


With special thanks to those who contribute regulary, here's our latest news,

FUNDRAISING:  Sonia, Pat and Kate continue to give talks to interested groups where the Zulu jewellery is displayed and sold.  Simon McCann has completed his 2nd triatholon on behalf of the project!  Despite the weather Didsbury Fair was a huge success.  The walking treasure hunt was also successful and is being repeated Weds, 25th July (call Sonia for details).

FUTURE EVENTS:  There will be events around Manchester organised by the trustees during the remainder of 2012.  We'll keep you posted!  Barbara our supporter in Italy will holding another choral concert to raise funds.

PROJECT VISITS:  During Pat's visit in January she helped all the project children to find places at, lower, middle and high school.  She also bought them school uniforms, shoes and stationary.  Five of our children completed their high school studies.  Four of them have gone on to secure places at the local F. E. college and one of them has secured a place at Zululand University.  Our two students currently in F.E. have passed their first year exams.  Such an achievement! and a great reflection of how successful the project really is. 

The food vouchers scheme continues to work with the help of the local Spa.  Sonia will be visiting the projct in September, when she will be assessing new referrals to the project.  She will be accompanied by Kate Stross our new member to the committee.  

Sonia's Visit September 2012

Dde  During my visit I spent time with the youngsters checking that they were attending school and were preparing for their end of year exams.  We gathered on Friday afternoons for a catch up and some fun.  I met with all those who are at college or intending to go to college, to make sure that they were prepared with all the necessary paperwork.  The bureaucracy is daunting and difficult at the best of times. 

Half way through my visit I was joined by Kate one of our committee members.  It was her first visit, quite an experience for her and a great help for me! 

We had a brilliant day out at Twin Streams Environmental Centre, where the children all had a lot of fun wallowing in the mud in mangroves, canoeing on the lagoon and eating a hearty lunch provided by the wonderful staff at the centre who are so supportive.

The Spar voucher system is working well, with the added bonus that this year they are giving seven of our youngsters Xmas employment.

The grannies had a wonderful selection of jewellery and xmas decorations ready for me to buy and we did a trip to Durban to replenish their stocks.


Pat's Visit to South Africa Jan-Feb 2012

All the results for the boys who had taken their Matric exams at Khula school were good enough to go onto further education including two boys who's marks were even good enough for university.  Off we went to queue at various colleges hoping to secure placements.  With the projects help the boys gathered together documents that they needed to register.  It often took many hours of standing in line before they reached the front.  The project paid for transport, photocopying and registration fees.  Sadly our one girl student didn't pass, but is determined to improve her marks.  She is the first person Pat will contact on her return in 2013. 

It took a few weeks to catch up with everyone and check out their needs.  At this time of the year we sought out new school uniforms and check on places for those changing schools.  There are books, calculators, pens and pencils to be bought. 

The project acts as an Advocate between social workers and the families we help.  This takes an enormous amount of time, queues starting as early as 5:30 am to see a social worker.  Africa tends to move exceedingly slow!  We also helped a baby get much needed surgery and found safe accomodation for a lone school girl who had been raped.

The reptutation of the project is spreading around the township and now we have another primary school interested in working with the Vine Project.  An initial meeting with the Principal has taken place, and Sonia will be putting the wheels in motion to take on more children when she visits in October.



'Live Band Party Night' Sat, 3rd November 2012

TThe Vine   The Vine Project will be hosting a Live Band Party Night at Chorlton Golf Club, Barlow Hall Rd, M21 7JJ,  as well as our great band there will be a demonstration of wheel chair dancing by stars from Britain's Got Talent, and a raffle.  Zulu jewellery and gifts will be availble from the Vine Project stall.

This is set to be a fun evening for all! Tickets £7.50


This was a wonderful evening of dance,entertainment and fun. Thanks to all who attended. 

We sold over 90 tickets and made over £1,000.

Llandudno Triathlon

Simon McCann successfully completed his triathlon 23rd June.  Swimming in the Llandudno bay didn't look very pleasant but he took the plunge and braved the elements.  Cycling up the Orme was equally as daunting, however the sun did shine as he ran along the promenade.  Simon raised a total of £300!  for which we are most grateful