Ladies, it’s been a sad time with the death of HRH Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh and our thoughts and prayers go out to the Queen and family members at this time. The Duke was respected for his steadfast and constant support of the Queen and he will be missed. Lynne Stubbings has sent a card and message of condolence to the Queen on behalf of National, and members. On behalf of the federation I have sent a message in the handmade card that Alison Woolford has designed, see below.
On a positive note we have a reason to celebrate- a new WI! Not the usual WI but a virtual one – ‘The Hampshire Clouds Virtual WI’ which formed on Friday the 9th of April and has 25 members, one in Canada and the secretary is in the USA. More members are joining and we will watch with interest the development of this new WI. This WI is the third ‘Virtual WI’ and a first for our federation. Well done to the Advisers who worked hard on this and will be encouraging and supporting them as they meet virtually.
Our Advisers, Board Trustees and Events team have worked hard over the last year as we have had to have more meetings for strategy, new procedures, new ways of delivering events and the general upheaval of the last year. We will be holding board elections next April and nomination forms will go out next month. Why not put yourself or someone you know forward? Please ask their permission first though, and if you want to know more do ask the office or any of the Board members. The Adviser team is looking for more volunteers to cover parts of the County, its fun and a great way to get to know the WIs and Hampshire members, again speak to the office or any of the Advisers. As we move forward out of lockdown we will also need volunteers for the events team and for activities - Why not join us?
Are you doing anything for World Bee Day on the 20th of May? I have sown lots of bee friendly seeds in the garden, along our lanes and on my allotment. We already have lots of flowers for pollinators and it’s been a real joy to watch the emerging wildlife .My happy spaces are my garden and allotment and the neighbours are benefitting from rhubarb which has grown so much this year. We haven’t eaten the ginger and rhubarb jam from last year yet so no jam making, plenty of crumbles for pudding.
Do take a look at the Federation website, there are so many activities and events to get involved with, a Zoom Quiz, Climate Change Ambassadors talk and questions, many competitions and challenges including ‘Everyone’s a Winner’ walk, cycle, run, kayak or horse ride, raise funds, have fun and hopefully for me – lose weight!
If you were unable to watch the Spring Council meeting & AGM on 23rd March, we are pleased to let you know we can now send you a recording. It will be available to watch until 23 May 2021 @ £10 please email email@example.com
As we begin to emerge from lockdown lets enjoy the longer days and hopefully warmer ones. Why not meet up with a WI friend and go for a walk or have tea in the park or garden. Some members may feel anxious and unsure so a personal invitation on a small scale is a good start.
My best wishes to you all, Take care.
In June, the Mirror will be running ‘Thank a Hero' campaign which looks to publicly thank Britain’s grassroots volunteers. Those who have taken time out of their lives to help others, ranging from raising large amounts of money, awareness to a cause or simply picking up their neighbour’s shopping. They would not only like to highlight the thousands of volunteers who signed up to help with Britain’s Covid-19 response but also all volunteers who have shown a selfless commitment to helping with their community over the past year. If you know of any individuals or groups with stories that would suit this campaign that you would like to nominate, please could you email Martha Muir at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please could you provide a short biography of the work the nominee has been undertaking/why they are being nominated.
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.
Let me introduce myself. My name is Tracy Baker and I am a member of Holbury Manor WI. I have been a Board of Trustee member for five years and have just been appointed as Treasurer. This is an important role within the Federation particularly now with all the challenges Covid 19 has thrown at us. I would like to thank Gail Pussard for all her hard work as a Treasurer especially last year when she had to navigate all the new rules regarding staffing and charity law. I am sure you will be pleased to hear that Gail is remaining on the Board. This year has been busy behind the scenes for trustees as we have reviewed our strategic plan for the next three years with the hope that we can keep Hampshire Federation vibrant and relevant to our members.
A little bit about my life before the WI took over. I worked in finance for 20 years and then retrained as a teacher. I taught mainly adults and worked for the Essentials Skills and I specialised in Mathematics but also taught English and English as a second language at Totton College. I then moved to Hampshire County Council as a Quality and Curriculum Development Officer for the Adult Education Department.
Currently I am an WI Adviser and one of the National Trainers for NFWI training WI Advisers and IFE’s and IFE trainers.
I enjoy quilting, swimming, and walking. I am currently virtually walking the Camino Way in Spain and so far, have managed a quarter of the 777 kilometres. I have two grown up daughters and I am looking forward to spending more time with them as the lockdown eases.
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COMMITTEE OF THE NEW FOREST SHOW WI TENT, PAULINE SLADE (CHAIRMAN)
Dear WI Members,
It has recently been confirmed that the New Forest & Hampshire County Show will not be happening again this year. Although half expected, it is nevertheless sad.
It has to be said that as a Committee, we could see no way that we would be able to prepare our Marquee this year, having had no fund raising coffee mornings, no get togethers.
Anyway, hopefully it will be ‘full steam ahead’ for 2022. We do hope that we will be able to have the usual Coffee Morning in late Autumn and that you will be able to join us. We are keeping the same Theme that we had prepared for 2020 - ‘Step Back in Time: 1920 – 2020’, with the same categories of Classes. Therefore if you had started to make something for them, please keep this by in readiness for next year!
We will be in touch later in the year. We hope this finds you well and very much looking forward to the time when we can all get together again.
Pauline Slade (Chairman) and the Committee of the New Forest Show WI Tent
Based on the government’s published roadmap, detailing the possible lifting of restrictions over the coming months, it is evident that we will be unable to deliver the Annual Meeting in June in the way we had initially anticipated.
Though we had hoped not to have to use it, a huge amount of work has been going on behind the scenes in order to be prepared for this scenario. As a result the team will be working over the coming days to finalise a revised plan for the event and to share these details with you. Our NFWI Board are meeting this week and need time to consider the various options and agree how to proceed. However, as I am sure you will understand from your own event planning, we will need to do this carefully and sensitively, ensuring we have engaged fully with the Royal Albert Hall and our speakers in the process before publicly changing our plans in any way. We are particularly conscious how difficult today’s news will be for the Royal Albert Hall, especially in what is their 150th anniversary year.
I wanted however to contact you this evening to simply acknowledge the impact of the government announcement, reassure you that we are working towards an alternative plan and let you know that we will be in touch shortly. We will of course contact you with the revised details for the Annual Meeting before we share this more publicly. We will however put a ‘holding’ message on our social media channels this evening, acknowledging the impact of today’s announcement, which will hopefully reduce the many inevitable questions directed at you and us over the coming days.
We know this has been a difficult topic, with our members so divided between those who have access to and who have embraced technology and those who feel disenfranchised by digital events and are keen to see the NFWI resuming some face-to-face activities, but as it is this is now out of our hands. I know many of you will be in similar situations with events during the late Spring and Summer and so will also have difficult decisions to make. If you do speak with members however then please do reassure them that NFWI will still have an Annual Meeting this year (it is not our intention to ‘cancel’ it) and that we will do everything we can to make this an exciting and accessible event, just not in the way we had initially planned for. Despite the challenges posed by ongoing restrictions, we still have a fantastic programme scheduled with some incredible speakers and so it is our intention to simply deliver the event in a different way. Therefore please don’t delete the date from your diaries and we will be in touch with an update later this week, including information that will help you decide on how to proceed with any bookings you have placed.