CHAIRMAN’S MESSAGE – 9 SEPTEMBER 2020
Hello, I am going to begin with an important message about the Hampshire Federation’s AGM on the afternoon of the 23 September. If you were designated as a delegate to the original meeting, you will have received an email with a voting form – will you please remind delegates to click on the link and complete the proxy form so that the numbers can be collated before the meeting. Secretaries, will you please make sure that your WI’s delegate receives this message as soon as possible. So far out of over 200 WIs we have only received less than a quarter of the forms back.
Talking about our very late Spring Council Meeting, which as you know is now going to be a virtual ‘live’ meeting, did you know that if you haven’t got a ticket and wish to join in you can still do so. To obtain a link to enable you to watch please email Karen on firstname.lastname@example.org and pay just £9.00. I am really looking forward to watching and listening to Ben Fogle. It will not be quite the same as meeting him in the flesh but that’s life at the moment!!!
Do you know of any potential new members who may have hesitated to commit because they feel that they need to attend several meetings to see if the WI is to their liking? Well NFWI has opened up a new opportunity this Autumn which will hopefully encourage them to join. They are offering a taster membership of six months for a subscription of just £10.75. This can be offered because of the extended subscription year which we are all enjoying. Anyone joining during October this year will be able to enjoy their membership until the 31 March 2021 when the 2021 membership fee become due. The sum of £10.75 would normally just cover the three months from 1 October to the 31 December, so in effect we are offering three months free membership. Please publicise this to your members and in your community.
NFWI have also suggested that every WI has a Welcoming Team so that new members feel included throughout their first few meetings. I know of many WIs in Hampshire which already have this in place but, if not, it is an excellent idea to adopt. I am sometimes asked by ladies for details of their local WIs and just occasionally, when I follow this up, I am saddened to hear that they have sat alone, and not been made to feel included. This happens rarely but please don’t let your WI be the one about which I get adverse feedback.
I expect that you are all getting rather bored with my mentions of the Christmas Gift Sale in Winchester on the 29 November but I have recently received a new idea. A member of the Events Team has suggested that we have a table dedicated to hand made Christmas cards. So, if you are a card maker and during lockdown you have finished your own cards please would you make just a few more to donate for the sale. I am sure the opportunity to buy unique hand made cards will attract a lot of people.
Do you use Amazon? the Federation has just received a donation of nearly £25 from Amazon Smile and it has not cost any of us an extra penny - just a few seconds of our time! The next time you use Amazon please click on to the logo in the top left-hand corner of the page, scroll down and click on ‘Hampshire Federation’ and a donation is automatically saved to be sent to us.
Now a reminder about our Federation poetry competition. Full details about this and an application form can be found on the Hampshire Website under the ‘Events’ tag. The closing date is the 23 October
As I am going away for nearly two weeks, my next Chairman’s message will not appear until near the end of the month but I am sure that Karen (Our company Secretary) and the BOT Officers, Gail Pussard (Our Treasurer) Helen Carter (First Vice Chair) and Katrina Kemp (Second Vice Chair) will be keeping you up to date in my absence.
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.
Out first live event was viewed by over 400 WI members and here are a few of the comments that have been passed on to us:-
"Big thank you to all concerned, it was a brilliant afternoon everything worked well and Ben Fogle was a fascinating and inspirational speaker. You really did a good job." Sue, Crookham Village WI
"I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed Ben Fogle’s talk just now. It was an absolute tonic to hear about his inspiring adventures and to leave behind the endless conversation about Covid 19. Thank you for arranging this live feed and actually it would be marvellous to have future talks live streamed for people like me who are not well enough to go to similar meetings." Wendy Harrap, Winchester Discoverers WI
"I thought it was excellent - well worth the “ticket money”!! Ben Fogle was a very interesting speaker and I learnt a lot from listening to him! Many thanks to all involved in the logistics! Please can we have more!!" Pauline Bennett, Morning Tide WI
"Loved it 😀" Maureen Page, Holbury Manor WI
"To all those responsible for contributing to the success of today's live event THANKS Ben Fogle was inspirational and such a lovely person too, must remember his tips for survival in these Covid times we continue to find ourselves in." Carolyn Fayle, Mayflower WI
"Brilliant presentation thanks to all involved in the organisation." Wendy Thornley, North Baddesley WI
"Thank you very much to all involved in arranging. Ben is an interesting and inspiring speaker." Julia South, Roe Downs WI
"Very good thank you for your hard work in putting it together." Jo Chillcott, Copthorne WI
"I just want to say a BIG thank you to you and all those involved in managing to get the SCM arranged on-line. It was good to be able to sit and watch Ben Fogle, albeit strange that we could not all be together but knowing that there were many of us watching. I look forward to when we can all meet together again. Keep up the good work and keep well and safe." Jean Stephens, The Worldhams WI
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.