A 76-YEAR-old woman is looking for someone to care for her 200-plus collection of nativity scenes from around the world.

Nia Higginbotham, of Llandudno, is a retired social worker and community project organiser.

During the festive season, Nia raises money for charities like Christian Aid by displaying her collection in her home; she invites people to come and see the pieces.

Nia said: “I remember paper nativities as a child at home in Aberystwyth, but the first one I bought was many years later and was a set of candle snuffers made by a local potter in Machynlleth.

North Wales Pioneer: Nia has collected nativity items from around the worldNia has collected nativity items from around the world (Image: Submitted)
“I collected a few sets over the years and began picking them up as mementos from holidays, and getting a few as presents. I didn’t realise I was collecting them until a friend said I had a collection. Now I have more than 230 - plus my Christmas tree has nativity baubles.

“They come from all over the world and are made in all kinds of materials from wood and stone to paper and linen. Some are made from horseshoe nails, tree barks, reclaimed shells, and rolled newspaper.

“Each piece is made by local craftsmen to whom they’re an important source of income. They are all reflections of local traditions and are fairly traded.”

North Wales Pioneer: Nia puts her collection on display each year to raise money for charityNia puts her collection on display each year to raise money for charity (Image: Submitted)
Nia comes from a family of Christian Aid supporters and has even visited South Africa to see some of the projects run by the organisation’s partners.

She added: “I treasure the fact Christian Aid works with local groups and cares for all people regardless of their beliefs.

“The friend who told me I was a collector suggested I could open up the house. So I do, and for the last few years have invited people to see the nativities and raise funds. I also give presentations to local groups. Many people return year after year, and bring friends, so the reaction is very positive.”

North Wales Pioneer: Nia HigginbothamNia Higginbotham (Image: Submitted)
Last year, Nia suffered a stroke and, although now recovered, she says she knows one day she will need to find a new home for her nativities.

“I’ve been thinking about where the collection should go,” she added.

“It would be great if they could all stay together but I’m not sure who’d be interested in taking them.

North Wales Pioneer: Nia's nativity scenesNia's nativity scenes (Image: Submitted)
“I’d like to find someone who would be willing to look after them when I can’t manage the collection any more.”

Anyone who thinks they can help Nia should email lroberts@christian-aid.org / lroberts@cymorth-cristnogol.org