Here we are at last in the month when we finally and hopefully reach the end of lockdown restrictions on Monday 21 June. Many of you I am sure have managed to meet up with your fellow WI members outside in May and will now be looking forward to meeting inside once again.
I am aware that some WIs have decided not to resume full indoor meetings until September and some will be a little apprehensive and have decided to include some form of caution at their first meetings. Of course this is to be expected. All WIs should re-start meetings in a way that is comfortable for the committee and all their members. I wish you all well as you take this first step towards normality and very much look forward to hearing how your first indoor meeting in many months has been received by your members and indeed if you had a speaker or if you just chose to have a good old cuppa and natter.
At Federation level the Board of Trustees are planning events for the rest of 2021 like the Quiz, Council Meeting and Christmas Celebration at the Cathedral as well as some Committee events to be held back at Cresswell House. Details and application forms for these events will be coming out to your Secretaries in due course and we all look forward to receiving your completed forms back at the Office. Don’t forget that we are always pleased to hear from you and welcome any suggestions on courses that you might like to see us put on.
I have during the course of lockdown, attended several Council Meetings of Federations scattered around the country and it has been very interesting hearing their reports and speakers. I have to say that good as they are, two hours on Zoom doesn’t compare to being at a live Council Meeting but, on the plus side, I would not normally attend Herefordshire’s Centenary Council Meeting so it really is swings and roundabouts.
Once again I am so pleased to be able to thank WIs for donating to Federation funds and this time my heartfelt thanks go to Cramlington and Guidepost & Sheepwash for their very generous donations.
We have received several queries about the Centenary Bursary which as you all know should have been decided by now with the recipient getting their first part in September this year. Due to Covid and school closures it has been impossible to get the application information to all young women in their final year at educational establishments and therefore interviews and selections have also stalled.
The money sent in for the next bursary is of course being held in our accounts and as soon as it is practicable then invitations to apply will be sent out and the usual selection will take place with the winner being mentioned in a future Newsletter. Thank you to you all for continuing to support this idea which was first agreed by all WIs as part of our Centenary celebrations and of which Claudia is currently the third person to have been chosen.
Finally congratulations go to Michelle Brannigan, a member of Ashington WI and one of Northumberland Federation’s Independent Financial Examiners. She is a passionate campaigner on climate change and decided to stand in the recent local elections. I am pleased to say that she was successful on being elected to serve on Ashington Council and we wish her well in her service to her local community.
Don’t forget to let me know how your first meetings go and if it was hugs all round!