About Us

Heather Ritchie
Heather was born in Sunderland and moved to Swaledale in North Yorkshire 30 years ago. She lives in Reeth with husband Lesley (a skilled engineer, who designs and makes her rug making tools and equipment) and her dog, Alin.

Rug Aid
Heather Ritchie visited the Gambia in February 2007 to carry out a feasibility study into starting a community craft project in an African country to encourage self sufficiency. She has set up the not-for-profit organisation, Rug Aid to provide opportunities for women and children in some of the poorest communities in Africa to make rugs, wall hangings and decorative items which can be sold locally, nationally and, later, through fair trade organisations world wide.

International rug-making contacts have offered practical help to get the project going (with donations of tools, materials and training) as well as in the resale/purchase of rugs produced.

Rug Aid web site