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What’s New from HQ (June 2020)

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At the time of writing we are all in lockdown and it is difficult to know what we will be able to do. Treasurers should look out for a mailing that will be sent as soon as we are able to. This will include:

  • Booking form for treasurer workshops, which are planned for Saturday, 22 August and Tuesday, 25 August  (Guildford); Wednesday, 26 August and Thursday, 3 September (Caterham). These will be subject to whatever restrictions are in place at the time. You can also book from the posts on the What’s On page.
  • Request form to apply for an Independent Financial Examiner for your WI
  • Form to enable the payment of additional subscriptions received since payment made in March
  • A copy of the insurance certificate for the year to 15 April, 2021
  • Helpful hints for treasurers for their year end accounts

All these documents will be available on the WI Treasurers tab of the Document Library page, so do check for non-data protected material and up-to-date information.

Sheena Landgraf, Federation Treasurer

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Message from our Federation Chairman (June 2020)

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Lockdown lessons for climate change

There is no doubt that Covid-19 will change the way we live forever!
Routine is now the order of the day, breakfast in the sun, WI work, gardening, cooking and patchwork, and walks across the adjacent army ranges replacing visits to Wisley, the only time I step beyond our gate. Simple aspects of everyday living provide their challenges. Can I eke the milk out until the next supermarket delivery? How can I use 40 chicken drumsticks, delivered as an alternative to a chicken? Why, when I order a pair of knickers online, do I have to give them my bra size?

Each day I hear about the many wonderful things SFWI members are doing in lockdown. I have been extraordinarily moved by how members have met the current challenge and have developed so many ways to deliver a monthly meeting and to keep in regular contact — meetings on line, craft activities delivered to members, phone calls and cards. Your versatility, as detailed in this edition of SWIN, is an inspiration to us all. If your committee has not yet taken the initiative to find alternative ways to engage with its members, then this edition has the answers, read on! If you have an idea, then implement it. Your fellow members will be delighted.

Very many WIs have also answered the call from local NHS and care homes to make PPE. Your efforts have been impressive. I salute you all. The Federation is most proud of your achievement.

As the unbelievable and tragic death toll gradually reduces and the government guidance relaxes a little, we must look to the future. For the moment however we must live under a set of seemingly incoherent, unfair and sometimes upsetting rules, where a cleaning lady can visit my house, but a member of my family cannot. I can greet my friend’s dog in the park but not my own grandchild … We all have our frustrations.

In a recent YouGov poll, a significant majority of participants did not wish to return to life as it was before. Do you? What is your vision for the future? We are certainly far more vulnerable than we thought we were. We can no longer live in a false bubble of comfort and complacency.  Covid-19 is a significant reminder that we are an integral part of the world that we are totally dependent on, and that we have the capacity to destroy it. We have been reminded that we are utterly reliant on nature. What does this mean? Will we emerge from this a more thoughtful and engaging species?

One thing is certain: climate change is far more of a threat to the world than the pandemic and we should take it much more seriously. Post Covid-19, radical changes in government agendas will be needed, a new approach to public services and the tax system, and a move towards equality in society. Can we begin to imagine that future? Shall we begin to live this new normal now? A normal that is good for the planet?

The WI is playing a significant role in campaigning on climate change. At the moment it seems as if there is little we can do, as daily living provides us with unique and difficult challenges, but we are already making a difference by our reduction in car usage, cancelling overseas holidays, growing fruit and vegetables and ‘Making Do and Mend’. Resourcefulness is key.

Back to today. The sun has risen on a beautiful spring morning, the birds sing, my enchanting wood mouse vacuums up under the bird feeder. There is much to enjoy. And remember, as the VE Day Commemoration drifts into our memory, we are not at war. This is a time of peace not conflict, so we will get through this in a calm and controlled way.

And finally, in the words of Rumi, the medieval, Persian Sufi poet: ‘This too will pass’.

Carol Gartrell, Federation Chairman

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June SWIN now available here

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June’s Surrey WI News is now available for you to read online.

We are sure you’ll agree that our Editor June Green is doing a great job under current circumstances! Big thanks to her, and to all our members who take the time to contribute

In this month’s edition there is plenty of interesting reading including: Plastic-free Bingo challenge, Liberate your wardrobe, Meet the Trustees, Choux Pastry Workshop and much more.

It is available to view on your phone, tablet or computer via Flipsnack@ June Surrey WI News.

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Resolutions for 2020 NFWI Update

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Update on 2019/2020 resolutions process

As the 2020 NFWI Annual Meeting was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the two resolutions due to be discussed were not able to be debated or voted on by delegates.

The NFWI Board of Trustees has decided that in these exceptional circumstances, the results of the shortlist selection process will be used as a proxy for the Annual Meeting vote.

In the shortlisting selection stage, two resolutions (stem cells and modern slavery) attracted a clear majority of selections from members (over 70%).

The NFWI Board felt that this was the most democratic means available to determine the outcome of this year’s resolution process, taking into account time and resource constraints and the challenges of the current lockdown period. The Board also wanted to recognise the huge amount of time and effort that members, WIs and federations put into the resolutions process this year.

This means that the two resolutions have now been adopted by the WI, and members are free to campaign on these issues. The resolutions are as follows:

A call to increase potential stem cell donor registration

There is an urgent need to increase the number of people registered on the aligned UK stem cell registry in order to provide potentially life-saving treatment to people of all ages with certain blood cancers. We call on all WI members to promote registration to the database to avoid people dying whilst waiting for a match.

End Modern Slavery

There are tens of thousands of victims of modern slavery hiding in plain sight in the UK. Modern slavery has severe consequences for the health and mental wellbeing of survivors. The NFWI calls on the Government to protect victims of modern slavery in the first instance and deliver longer term support to help them rebuild their lives. We call on our members to raise awareness of the prevalence of modern slavery throughout society and to campaign to defeat it.

Further information, next steps and a breakdown of the shortlist selection results can be found on NFWI’s website

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Cranleigh Show 2020 – Cancelled

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Cranleigh Show – Cancelled

This was due to take place on 28 June at Cranleigh Show Ground, Bookhurst Road (Ewhurst Road), Cranleigh, GU6 7DW. Due to the coronavirus it has been cancelled for 2020.

The show in 2021 will take place on Sunday 4 July and the schedule will be made available in March.

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