CHAIRMAN’S MESSAGE – 22 OCTOBER 2020
Hello, I am very happy to be able to start today’s message by sending congratulations to Sheila Goater of Worldhams WI. Sheila has been awarded the BEM in HM the Queen’s Birthday Honours for her services to the Oakhanger community. Well Done Sheila!
Our events team have worked very hard to bring you a wide selection of events via digital platforms but as I have said before, we are very aware that not all of our members are comfortable with using Zoom etc. We are now hoping to set up a Hampshire Federation Digital Champions Team and I am looking for volunteers to join this. If you have offered to join the team previously, please confirm that you are still interested. Board members Susie Cooper and Tracy Baker are the Board members who will be leading the team. You do not need to be a computer “whizz kid” and training will be given. If you would like to help more Hampshire members get online please contact me at email@example.com
Have you written your entry for the Story of Hope Competition yet? If not, you still have time. The closing date is the 13 November and further details can be found under the ‘events’ tab on the first page of the Hampshire website. It is said that everyone can write at least one story in their lifetime, so why not give it a try?
I am sad that this week I have had to send out a reminder, that we are not able to meet as WIs for Christmas festivities. As things stand at present, I cannot see the guidelines changing to allow this, but I am looking forward to the time when we are able to hold events to celebrate our being able to meet together again.
The plans to reopen WI House are forging ahead and, unless guidelines change, our staff will be back there on a rota system at the beginning of November, but please do remember to phone before visiting. Our reception staff will be there to answer the phones from 2 November and appointments can then be made for the week beginning the 9 November onwards. Opening hours will be between 10.00am and 1.00pm Monday to Thursday inclusive.
Until next time
We welcome friends on Facebook
Due to Covid–19 WI House is currently closed. We still have 3 staff furloughed please bear with us – we will reply as soon as we can.
Karen and Lyn
On behalf of the NFWI Board of Trustees, it is with great sadness that we announce the proposal to close Denman permanently.
The WI is a democratic, social and educational charity and gives members the opportunity to build new skills, make new friends and be inspired. We encourage members to take part in a wide variety of activities and to campaign on issues that matter to them and their Communities. WIs meet once a month.
URGENT MESSAGE TO ALL WIs
As the festive season approaches, I know that some WIs are already making plans to meet for lunches etc.
Sadly, I have to remind you that the NFWI have instructed that, in line with the Government guidelines, which specifically mention the WI, WI meetings and get togethers cannot take place.
Therefore bookings should not be made in the name of your WI.
Should you wish to make arrangements as individuals this will be entirely dependent on the restrictions being adhered to by your chosen venue, and WI funds cannot be used to meet the cost.
Hopefully the situation will improve in 2021.
Gina Ireland MBE
On our 105th birthday, as we look back at all the wonderful milestones throughout our history, we are proud to launch our new strategic vision, which focuses on an exciting future for the WI. Hear from NFWI General Secretary Melissa Green, as she outlines our four new vision statements. We would like to thank all the members who helped to shape these vision statements, through our series of consultations. To watch this video with subtitles, visit our YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/jVJ06RFtLpM To view more information about our strategic vision and the new Count Me In! membership survey which Melissa discusses, visit My WI: https://mywi.thewi.org.uk/nfwi-news/articles/nfwi-vision-for-the-future #WIDay
Posted by The WI (National Federation of Women's Institutes) on Wednesday, 16 September 2020
Hear from NFWI General Secretary Melissa Green, as she outlines our four new vision statements. We would like to thank all the members who helped to shape these vision statements, through our series of consultations.
To watch this video with subtitles, visit our YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/jVJ06RFtLpM
To view more information about our strategic vision and the new Count Me In! membership survey which Melissa discusses, visit My WI: https://mywi.thewi.org.uk/…/arti…/nfwi-vision-for-the-future
Please click here for NFWI Important Information regarding WI Meeting (11 September 2020)
HAMPSHIRE FEDERATION TREASURER, GAIL PUSSARD
In October last year I stood in front of the assembled members at the Autumn Meeting at the Anvil in Basingstoke and spent a few minutes telling you about the plan and budget for the new financial year which started on 1st October 2019.
Well my crystal ball was not just muddy, it didn’t say a word about a pandemic, lockdowns, self-isolation, furloughing and a host of other expressions we have come to know (although maybe not love). Many people have lost loved ones. I lost my sister-in-law to Covid-19 in May, so I know the angst.
The year 2020 was always going to be a challenging year, financially for the Federation. Your BoT had been getting to grips with the anti-climax that has come after our extremely successful centenary year. New ideas and different ways of doing things were being put together.
Then COVID-19 arrived and the world changed almost overnight. Although the Federation was fortunate to receive your membership subscriptions in March and April (and the late comers are still trickling in), all other events were at best postponed or cancelled.
The Federation has taken advantage of the Government’s Job Retention Scheme and furloughed 3 members of staff (Nicky, Jo and Theresa). This relieved some financial pressure, but equally meant there was only Karen and Lyn to handle your queries, orders and other matters. Whilst there were no new events to deal with, there is still lots to do and if replies have not been as speedy as in the past please do bear with us.
Closing WI House to both staff and members was a vital step in reducing to a minimum all costs associated with the house. However, as anyone with property knows, there are always ongoing costs that do not disappear. At best, we have been able to postpone expenditure such as maintenance of the heating and ventilation system. However, such items will need to be carried out before the House is used by members and staff.
Tough decisions have and are being made on an almost daily basis. As you will know, the Spring Council Meeting did not take place in March. I do not think BoT were alone in thinking things would be back to normal by July, so a date for the postponed meeting of September looked to be quite sensible. Now we are questioning what the “new normal” will actually look like.
As I look to the end of the HCFWI financial year in 2 months’ time, the only certainty I have is that we will make a deficit, which will be eye watering when compared with our small and large surpluses of the last 10 years. More worrying is the absence of membership subscriptions until May or June 2021 and little or no event activity. However, the Federation will continue to do all it can to support the Hampshire WIs though the good offices of our WI Advisers, through the provisioning of insurance, the production of a magazine (online until the publisher can support a hard copy version), updating for changes in Officers at your WIs, and the numerous other ways the Federation keeps in touch and assists where possible.
Government guidance guides what we can and cannot do. Unfortunately, the Government Guidance does not always appear totally straightforward. Equally, there are legal obligations with bookings for venues. If a venue cannot accommodate the users requirements in line with Government Guidance then they must cancel and either repay any deposit or put that to a future event. If the Federation cancels then any deposit is payable. It gets a little complicated!
The sharp-eyed amongst you will note I have not quoted any financial figures. This is because of the still fluid situation.
I hope the above gives you a little flavour of the issues facing myself as Federation Treasurer and the other members of the Board of Trustees.
In case any WI or its officers and members are wondering what you could do to help the Federation, I would suggest some of the following:
Thank you for reading this and I hope to see some of you either at an online event, but hopefully back at some of our usual venues and events.