Overcoming challenges is second nature to Jane Smith of the Cheltenham congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Jane was born with Cerebral Palsy, is a wheelchair-user and finds it difficult to do most ordinary tasks. But nothing was going to stop her serving others and using her talents and abilities to bless the lives of those around her.
In 1987 Jane began weaving small woollen squares which could be crocheted together to make blankets. She started with a cardboard cut-out to interweave the squares but found this very difficult so obtained a wooden block which made things much easier. At first Jane used her hands to pull and weave the wool but then having lost the use of her hands was not deterred and instead now uses her feet.
A full blanket uses about 200 weaved squares - Jane is able to create about 4 a week, making each blanket a true labour of love. Jane is helped in this work by her husband Ross, who has his own challenges, and she appreciates the help occasionally given by ward members too.
Through this service Jane and Ross are able to express their love and support to others and have provided blankets for elderly people and mothers of young children now for over 25 years.