As the Startrekking song from several years ago said: It’s life Jim but not as we know it! I think we can certainly say that this is the case at present even as the easing of restrictions are hurtling towards us at quite a pace now. Everyone is getting appointments at their hairdressers and their manicures sorted out too. Not sure about tattoos so if you want one and have to wait a bit longer then I am sure it won’t be too long. Who knows we may even be able to sing again in public before the end of the year!!
Many of you will have seen on our website or National’s or even through your own WIs information platforms that meetings can go ahead from 1 August for groups of 30 or less. This number has to include speaker(s), carers and any visitors. There are as you would expect very strong guidelines around these meetings and of course around the places where your WI meets and so although it sounds marvellous for those WIs of a “correct” number there may well be ramifications imposed by the venues. In fact some WIs could struggle with compliance imposed upon them by their meeting place and so I really must urge all WI Presidents and their committees in the very first instance to contact the owners of their meeting places to find out what they, as a group, will be required to do. Guidance on the resumption and risk assessments are on the document available on MyWI and the website. Despite all the precautions and guidelines it is good to move forward, albeit tentatively, and to see a light at what has been an extraordinarily long tunnel.
I am sure that you were all delighted by the news that your Annual subscription for 2020 had been extended by three months and that your 2021 subscriptions will not be due until April 2021. April will continue to be the due date in future years which I know from long experience will be welcomed by members and Federations who have wanted a change in the subscription date for quite some time.
Your secretaries will have received details from National about next year’s Annual Meeting at The Royal Albert Hall in April and information confirming that the two resolutions which should have been debated and voted on at this year’s meeting (Stem Cell Donation and End Modern Slavery) have been passed and are now campaigns. Details of how to submit a resolution for next year’s meeting are also with your Secretary. They have to be submitted to National by 11 September. Your timescale is very short because your submission will have to be with the Federation for approval by
the Board before it is sent to National. Can I ask any WIs submitting a resolution to send it, in the correct format, to Cresswell House by Tuesday 1 September to allow for any amendments which may be necessary before final approval and submission to National.
I hope you all enjoyed the fabulous photo on the front of the latest WI Life which featured Linda Garner’s (Shotley WI) balloon festooned farmhouse. It won first prize in the recent photography competition for Life during Lockdown. Didn’t it look wonderful and what a tribute to all the hardworking members of the NHS. As you will have read it took a lot of time and effort to produce the winning result but well worth it and many congratulations to Linda and the rest of the Garner family.
The Board of Trustees will hold their first meeting since March in August, all correctly distanced and observing all the guidelines as we try to work out what we can/can’t/will do in the coming months, creeping back to some form of normality. I would love to hear from any of you who do manage to hold a meeting in your usual venue to tell me how it went – how many members came along and did you just have a lovely catch up and games type evening or did you get a speaker? We can all learn from each other as we move forward so it will be good to get your views. Of course many of you have managed Zoom meetings or done quizzes by Zoom. I can only congratulate you all on how you have managed to stay in touch and come up with such novel and inventive ideas. Again, please let me know what you have done that has been different because these few months have been so unique that I would like to keep a formal record for our archives. I am positive we can create something that will inspire future members because I am very aware that we are indeed all inspirational women.
At this moment the RGS remains booked for October for our Council Meeting and Hexham Abbey for December but as I am sure you will appreciate these may have to be cancelled. As soon as we have any further information we will put it on to our website.
I am sorry that there has been quite a lot of formal and business information this time but it is all very important as we move on. It has nothing to do with the fact that as I write this I still haven’t been for a haircut and am getting more demented by the day. However I am going next week for the long awaited haircut and also visiting the dentist, two entries in one week in my diary and if you add in a Zoom with National and one with our son and daughter, it’s a positively overflowing week!! Take care. Please continue to follow appropriate guidelines wherever you are and whatever you are doing. Hopefully we will all see each other for real in the not too distant future.
Marj x

Northumberland WI

t: 0191 217 0808

11/12 Brenkley Way
Blezard Business Park, Seaton Burn
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE13 6DS