THE WIVES OF UNEMPLOYED MEN
[To the Editor of Tint SPEeTaTort.]
SIR,—Will you be good enough to allow inc to make this appeal to your readers ? During the last sixteen months we have been trying to start clubs for the wives of unemployed men, and men on part-time, in the mining villages, of West Yorkshire. These clubs usually meet for two hours once or twice a week. When unemployment is prolonged, wives fall out of local social activities, as they cannot afford the cost. We do not wish to segregate the wives of unemployed men, but life has segregated them already, and we find that they, welcome a simple club where all activities are within reach of the very small sums they can pay, and where the special needs of unemployed people are of first importance.
. We do not. usually give things away. • The members buy material for dressmaking, from the clubs at cost price, paying for it at small sums per week. The recreational side is very important, as the wife of an unemployed man is working harder than ever to make the money go round and needs change from constant worry, so we arrange " talks," keep- fit classes, &c.
Districts which are scheduled as Government " special areas " can get help from sources not available to us, mid, similarly, clubs run for unemployed women may, in certain eases, get help ; but in this area there are many thousands of unemployed Miners' wives needing and welcoming a eiub, and the work is held back by lack of money. A small sum— about £3—is.usually enough on which to start a club, provided that the use of a room can be arranged, but sewing-machines and similar simple equipment are badly needed.
I appeal now especially for dressmaking material, knitting- wool and second-hand clothing. Many of our women are clever at renovations, and every garment acquired for a penny or two (which is paid into the club funds) and altered at the club means money available for other things. I appeal for help to the prosperous parts of the country,. for work which is not an ordinary charity, but which cannot go on without the help of people more fortunate than our own splendid Club members: Any second-hand clothing, equipment •or money will be very • gratefully received by me, e/o West Yorkshire Unemployinent Advisory Council, Service House, Brook Street, Wakefield, • Yorks.—I am, Sir, yours faithfully, VIOLET ALLENDALE' (Chairman of the Sub-Committee for Women's Work, W.Y.U.A.C.).
Bretton Park, Wakefield. " •