Corbridge – Kathleen Beale
A very sad passing of Kathleen Beale in January. A loyal friend to many in Northumberland WIs with her VCO work.
She was the daughter of Mrs K McHugh, past County Chairman in the 60’s. Kathleen will be missed greatly in Corbridge WI.
Norham WI Travelling Case – Susan Thorburn
We started out in 2020 looking forward to an exciting programme of events in our WI. Unfortunately, Coronavirus had other plans and since March 2020 we have been unable to meet in person. However, this has not prevented us from staying in touch with each other via telephone, letter, email and our Facebook and Messenger groups. Some of our ladies have also enjoyed the Denman at Home Zoom talks which have covered a wide range of topics, all of which have been excellent. A few of our members are also very active on the WI Wanderers Facebook group which is providing support via Zoom coffee mornings and a range of talks to suit every interest.
One of our most innovative ways of keeping in touch was our President’s inspired idea of filling a small suitcase with various gifts and activities (see photograph). The case started its travels at the end of October and as each
member receives it, following a period of quarantine, they can take as many gifts from the case as they want and all we ask is that they replace them with an equal number of gifts.
There are also several activities to complete if they so wish, such as knit a few lines of a poncho, crochet part of a baby blanket or share a favourite recipe.
So far, the travelling case has been a resounding success and it
has provided very welcome light relief during these difficult times. We are all looking forward to the time when we can meet up again and at that point, we will be able to raffle any excess gifts and hopefully a completed poncho and baby blanket!
Ashington turns Green to #showthelove – Michelle Brannigan
Every year Ashington WI takes part in the Show the Love campaign. Members craft green hearts and in recent years have given these out to local councillors and the Member of parliament for Wansbeck. Due to Covid restrictions, this year was different but no less meaningful. Ashington WI decorated shop windows on the High Street with handcrafted hearts , banners, a ‘Mother Earth’ figure and a
Bicycle. Each window presents ideas on how people can take small changes in their life to make a big impact on the environment. We want to show the love for the planet and the biodiversity we have right here on our doorstep. The campaign ran from 1 – 21 February and this year Ashington WI gave out crafted green heart keyrings and pin badges as well as reusable vegetable bags which were found outside Melly’s beds and carpet shop on Station Road and Ashington Fruit and Vegetable shop on Woodhorn Road.
We need our politicians and councillors to commit to building a cleaner, greener world that works for everyone. Northumberland County Council now has an action plan and a clear goal to halve their Co2 emissions by 2025 and become net zero by 2030 but we need to keep the pressure on, and we need to help them get the message out to the community that everyone can make a small change that creates a huge impact.
Keeping the place tidy – Jacqui Clark
Hartford Bridge WI litter picking group have been busy since August 2020 collecting a total of 128 bags of rubbish from the Bedlington and Hartford Bridge areas. During periods when we were not in lockdown following government Covid 19 rules and the Council litter picking guidelines, our stalwart members have been out in all weathers to keep ‘Britain Tidy’.
This has proved a most rewarding activity for the ladies despite repeated littering to the sites visited.
We have also had tremendous support from Northumberland County Council – a quick phone call is all it takes to dispatch their refuse team to collect the filled rubbish bags. Well done to everyone involved!
Prudhoe’s virtual Christmas Party – Anne Leech
We had our virtual Christmas party where members wore their Christmas jumpers and had a glass of their favourite tipple, mine was a G&T. The Committee made up little bags for every member which had a knitted fairy, a gold fir cone, fruit cake, sweets, a little glass fairy and a Christmas card. The members said they really enjoyed opening them, it was like getting a Christmas stocking. Even the bags were made with old WI news magazines.
Hope you all had a good Christmas and let’s hope 2021 brings hope and things getting back to normality.