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News from Our Chair

As we now slowly come out of the “Covid Coma” and begin meeting up in person we are hearing wonderful things from different WIs about what they are doing. Many have met in small groups in each other’s gardens. I have heard of a WI using that time to show those who do not have confidence in technology how to use Zoom.

Highworth Evening have made masks for every member and delivered them by hand ready for their first meeting. Pickwick have found a local hotel that is doing a cream tea where they can meet and be safe either outside if the weather is nice or indoors if not. I have had reports of the talented ladies of MsB-Avon, Odstock and Pewsham Belles producing brilliant and lively newsletters. Amesbury has a Digital Buddy scheme linking those with printers to one or two members who lack technology. Buddies deliver hard copies of any news and information so that no one is left out and all are kept up to date in the WI. Sharing the task across the WI keeps the task manageable.

As a Federation while we look forward to restarting our programme of events for you in the usual face to face way we are investigating ways to restart using online methods such as Zoom. We have been inspired by Denman at Home which has been very successful running a range of courses and events including, crafts, illustrated talks, exercise and cookery. The Federation has also successfully carried out WI officer training by Zoom. It’s been a whirlwind learning curve for us all.

Are you able to share your knowledge of Zoom by inviting another lady from your WI who does not have a computer or tablet or wifi to watch with you so that she can share the experience. Do make sure you observe appropriate safety guidelines.

Behind the scenes we have been finding ways to make WI House a Covid Safe environment with screens, sanitisers, etc so that our wonderful staff will be protected. We are keeping abreast of changes in regulations that affect the organising of events in halls and other venues. Currently the government restrictions on numbers, the availability of venues large enough for social distancing and the safety precautions necessary is a challenge! If you know of larger venues that are available we would be very grateful if you could let us know.

Finally, I would like to thank my Board of Trustees who have continued to meet virtually, keep the federation on track and plan for the future during this time. I very much hope this new website, our NFWI website, Facebook and our normal News & Information sheets are all contributing to keeping our members involved and up to date with the latest news so please spread the word

Take care and stay safe.

Lesley Holdway

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