A NORTH-EAST teacher who appeared on the Great British Sewing Bee is using her skills with a sewing machine to help women in Uganda.

Amanda Gledhill left the BBC 2 show last night (Thursday, February 26), together with 21-year-old Ryan Walklett, from Swindon.

The 47-year-old, who is deputy head teacher at the Federation of Abbey Schools, in Darlington, said pupils at the school have been raising money to buy sewing machines for women in Uganda.

“We had raised some money and our vicar told us the work that she was doing with a village in Uganda, so a year ago she took three sewing machines to a women’s group and she is teaching them how to sew,” she said.

“We also raised more money at our Christmas pantomime and donated three more sewing machines. I might get out to Uganda in the autumn which would be wonderful to see the ladies using the machines.”

Miss Gledhill was inspired to enter the competition after students at the school commented on a lace trench coat she had made.

“The reaction at school where I am deputy head teacher has been amazing,” she added.

“On the second episode there was a class lined up for lunch and they all started clapping me and I felt so proud.”

Her passion for sewing has rubbed off on her students, and youngsters at the school are now taking part in their very own sewing and knitting bees.

“I have had a few people recognise me and smile at me, it has been a bit strange but wonderful at the same time,” she said.

"I have been talked about in the haberdashery and old friends have made contact again.

“I have had so much support and comments from the sewing community and will continue to write my sewing blog, aebgledhill.com”