Russia Ukraine war: ‘Granny Meg’ makes toy dolls for Ukraine refugee children

A Sheffield born 87-year-old is making handmade toy dolls to be sent to Ukraine refugee children.

By Sophie Watson
Tuesday, 22nd March 2022, 10:11 am
Updated Tuesday, 22nd March 2022, 2:32 pm

Margery (Meg) Holden, born in Mosborough and known as ‘Granny Meg’ by family and friends, has made 10 dolls so far, which were sent to the Ukraine borders last week via a donation service running at her daughter’s local gym.

She is continuing to make dolls for the refugee children and hopes her work inspires others to support the Ukraine crisis.

Anita Morris, Granny Meg’s daughter, said: “Mum is able to feel that she is contributing and she hopes that the children who receive the toys are given a little hope that someone else cares about them.

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The Sheffield born 87-year-old, Granny Meg, is making handmade toy dolls to be sent to Ukraine refugee children.

“The children in Ukraine at this stage, just need something to hold onto and to love. My mum and dad survived a war [WWII] and we all hope the Ukrainian people soon live in a peaceful world again.”

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Granny Meg suffers from severe osteoporosis, a health condition that thins her bones and leaves her in constant pain and unable to walk very far.

The dolls take Granny Meg two-to-three days to make.

RZESZOW, POLAND - MARCH 21: Sofia Kluchko, 5, spends time with her mother, Victoria Kluchko, at a relief center set up for people fleeing the war in Ukraine on March 21, 2022 in Rzeszow, Poland. Victoria said they fled the town of Sumy where they lived. Nearly two-thirds of the more than 3 million people to have fled Ukraine since Russia's invasion last month have come to Poland, which shares a 310-mile border with its eastern neighbor. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

She even hand embroidering the faces onto the dolls and creating individual dresses and underwear for each of them.

Ultimately, Granny Meg has decided not to name the dolls as she feels it is important for the children in Ukraine to make their own stories up.

Granny Meg has always been creative, painting in her spare time and making dolls for Anita when she was a child.

During the pandemic, she used craft activities to cope with loneliness and the feelings of isolation after her husband, Ernest, 92, became ill and moved into a care home.

PRZEMYSL, POLAND - MARCH 21: People, mainly women and children, arrive at Przemysl train station on a train from Odesa in war-torn Ukraine on March 21, 2022 in Przemysl, Poland. Nearly two-thirds of the more than 3 million people to have fled Ukraine since Russia's invasion last month have come to Poland, which shares a 310-mile border with its eastern neighbor. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Living now in Ripon nearer to Ernest’s care home, she now lives further away from her daughter Anita.

Anita says that, “Evenings are really difficult for her as they can be quite lonely. By making the dolls, it helps her give her something to focus on, makes her feel positive and is amazing for her mental health.

“I’m a great supporter of intergenerational projects. I think with mum supporting the Ukraine children, it shows that there can be a bond between much older people and younger children, which is very important.”