Sad time for Greenhead WI
Greenhead WI have sadly lost two members to Covid/Sepsis. Dot Watters and Rose Bracher were loyal members for many years and words can’t express their loss.

Nedderton & Bedlington Marilyn Taylor
At Christmas we made all our members a Christmas Santa bag. Included in the bags were a handmade face mask, a handmade scarf and a handkerchief donated by the family of Sonia Yardley. Sonia was one of our long standing members who died last year. Apparently, she had lots of boxes of handkerchiefs stored away, some of which were extremely old. We thought it would be a lovely way to remember her if every member had one of her
handkerchiefs. As you can see from the photo, we also asked our members to take a photo of themselves wearing the scarf then send it to us to make into a collage.

The lowdown at Lowgate – Betty Boaden
Although activities at Lowgate have been curtailed now for almost a year we have managed to achieve a lot. At the beginning of lockdown, we met outside, socially distanced of course, to hold two brief meetings with fish and chip suppers. During the following month a long-awaited refurbishment of the outside and roof of our hall was completed. A few months later the offer of free trees from Northumberland County Council to assist the slowing down of climate change provided an ideal opportunity to start an orchard on a redundant piece of land behind the hall. More wildflower seeds were sown to cheer up 2021.
To start the New Year our members were given a little Bag of Happiness. We all have those days when we feel a little blue and this bag had things inside to help to see them through:
 An eraser, so your mistakes can disappear.
 A coin, so you can never say you’re broke.
 A marble, in case someone says, ‘you’ve lost yours.’
 A rubber band to stretch yourself beyond limits.
 A piece of string to tie things together when they fall apart.
 A kiss (a cherry lip) to remind you that someone loves you.
It brought a smile to members’ faces and hopefully we’ll get together in the not-too-distant future. Meanwhile Zoom and WhatsApp are keeping us in touch.

A Lockdown Story from Stannington
This is the story about our lovely Chris Bound who has been housebound since lockdown.

I was first contacted by Kate who works for the R.V.S. She was looking for someone who had used the service and would like to speak to Boris. Never thinking I would be chosen but I was.
I found the volunteers absolutely fantastic; they rang me weekly and picked up my medications. After numerous phone calls it was arranged for me to have a Zoom meeting with the Prime Minister. The press came two hours prior, and I have not been photographed as much since my wedding day! It was all quite surreal. The day it all came together I was nervous and excited.
I spoke to Boris and Carrie and they were very easy to chat to. Boris said I looked very well, thank goodness he could only see my face and not the rest of my body a lot of chocolate had been consumed this last year! I felt honoured to have been chosen. It has been the highlight of an extremely difficult year, and my claim to fame!”

As a WI we always come together to enjoy our experiences and share our love for life. The lockdown was traumatic and akin to bereavement to all of us. The fact that we were unable to meet, join together or do anything ‘ normal ’ has made us feel disconnected. We started Zoom meetings with the usual hilarity many times did we say; you are on mute, your washer makes a terrible background noise, turn your camera round, we can only see your fruit bowl. Chris was one of our members who persevered and taught herself (with a bit of prompting) to use Zoom . We were thrilled to hear her
story and also her beautiful laugh.

Prudhoe have fun on Zoom – Anne Leach
Prudhoe WI have monthly Zoom meetings and in February we had a talk by Dr Ray Lowery who ’s been a doctor, writer, comedian and speaker. He ’s performed a one man show at Edinburgh and written sketches for many famous comedians. He gave a very amusing slide show about the early days of his medical career. For his show he collects amusing captions from newspapers and magazines .
It was a great evening and it felt good to have a laugh together with everyone. One evening, we were invited to join Fairford Ley WI from Aylesbury ’s Zoom meeting. They were having a quiz and had invited other WIs to join them . It was great to meet and see members from a different part of the
country.

A Little ‘Hello’ from Bellingham
Trish MacPherson wrote this for all the WI members in Bellingham as they are all missing their meetings . All thought it was lovely and thought to share it so many more members can enjoy the spirit. Read the poem here “A Little Hello” 

Zoom Corner

Jesmond WI had the good fortune of seeing Alex Connell present a Vegetarian Cookery Demonstration in February on Zoom. Alex has had a variety of roles in the catering industry including principal tutor at the Vegetarian Society Cookery School and currently works for the charity Vegetarian for Life. Thank you so very, very much Alex. The Zoom session was thoroughly enjoyed by all and a tremendous success. You’ll find a wide range of cooking demos, online training, recipes and publications on the website Vegetarian for Life

Northumberland WI

t: 0191 217 0808

federationoffice@northumberlandwi.co.uk

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