A team of dedicated knitters from Corsham has helped bring smiles to the faces of children in Ethiopia suffering a rare disfiguring illness.

Last Thursday the Corsham Knitting Group donated four bags full of teddies and beanie hats to Facing Africa.

The charity helps young people with Noma, a debilitating facial disease described as a cross between gangrene and leprosy.

Knitting project co-ordinator Anne Coates collected the sacks from the group at Corsham Community Centre.

She said: “We were absolutely amazed when they gave us four huge bin liners. They have been working really hard and they still are.

“They listened to a talk about what we do and I think it brought home to them that what they were doing is really worthwhile.”

The bags were joined by several sacks donated by the WI in Dilton Marsh, and will be sent out to Ethiopia for children undergoing reconstructive facial surgery.

Mrs Coates said: “It’s a horrid thing to have but they all seem very happy, and they are so grateful.

"One of our volunteers out there met a young lad of about 16 who he gave a toy to, and every morning when he went to the hospital he was playing with this thing with a huge beaming smile on his face.

“The group put in a tremendous amount of time and we want to say a heartfelt thank you for all their work. It’s heart-warming to know there are people who will do that, and we can’t say thank you enough.”

Anyone who can help knit items for the charity can contact Mrs Coates on 01225 712239 for knitting patterns or further information.