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Toto James – NFWI Appointment

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Toto James – NFWI Appointment

We are proud to announce that Toto James, our Federation Vice Chairman and Trustee, has been co-opted on to the NFWI’s Board of Trustees. 

We are sure you will join us all in congratulating her and wishing her the best of luck!

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What’s New from HQ (January 2020)

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The mailing at the end of January will include the following, but please check the mailing letter for up-to-date details:

  • Presidents and Secretaries List 2020
  • Annual Review 2019
  • Two copies of 2020 Year Book. Please use this edition to book speakers and shred the 2019 edition
  • Delegate’s programme for the Annual Council Meeting in March
  • The 2020 Surrey County Show schedule
  • A letter to secretaries about the Council Meeting together with Standing Orders for Council Meetings
  • Minutes of the Annual Council Meeting 2019
  • Nominations received for Group Officers

All non-data protected information will continue to be available for downloading from the Document Library page for example: Membership Fees Form; Keeping of Records;The WI Year and the Surrey County Show Schedule 2020 is available from the Agricultural Shows page.

This website is regularly updated with new files and documents and there are lots of resources. However if you would like a hard copy of any document please get in touch with the office and we will post it to you.

Karen, Jeanie, Julia and Katie and I would like to wish all members a healthy and happy 2020.

Diane Sanderson, Federation Secretary

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Message from our Federation Chairman (January 2020)

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IT’S that time of year, time to make New Year’s resolutions. I have never seen a lot of point in making them. It’s not that I can’t keep them, it’s just that — well, why and only at this time of year? Surely it should be an all year-round thing, when you see a problem and feel the urge to resolve it.

The reputation of the WI has been built, to a great extent, on resolutions and the campaigns that have emerged from them. Can you remember the resolution of 1954 that ‘Inaugurated a campaign to preserve the countryside against the desecration by litter of all kinds’ and urged members to ‘make it a personal matter to mitigate this evil’? The outcomes have been far reaching and set in place the Keep Britain Tidy movement, now a charity in its own right. What a powerful voice we have.

The selection of resolutions on which we will soon vote has just been published [see Page 4] and one, Protect our Precious Helium has been put forward by a Surrey WI, Guildford Spike. Well done! I wonder which will be selected. I certainly hope Guildford Spike’s resolution will be as it is a current and critical issue.
One of the most significant and influential NFWI resolutions in recent years has been Ending Plastic Soup, a by-product of the clothes we wear and wash far too frequently, and single use plastics that are discarded and break down. But did you know that our Federation’s commitment to this issue dates back to 1971 when Leigh, Surrey’s oldest WI, highlighted ‘The increasing danger to livestock and other animals and the spoiling of beaches and countryside caused by non-perishable containers’?
Am I odd in that when on holiday I wander along the tideline picking up bits of plastic and glass? Why do I get so frustrated when the hotel I am staying in declares that they are no longer offering toiletries in order to cut back on single use plastics. Cynically, I ponder — an environment friendly move or is this just a cost-saving gimmick? My thoughts are reinforced when I am given a black plastic straw in my gin and tonic. Whoever needed a straw to drink gin and tonic, I wonder, and when I refuse it I am met with a glazed expression.

This year, however, I am going to make a resolution and I am going to make it on behalf of us all. As we embark on another WI year with our new officers and committee members, can we all resolve to recognise and utilise members’ strengths, celebrate our differences and work together to further progress our WIs? I challenge you all.

Carol A. Gartrell, Federation Chairman

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Show the love with green hearts

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We know that many of you take part in the NFWI’s Show the Love campaign and make green hearts from fabric, seeds, soap or other materials to help to spread the word that we need to be mindful of our environment.

The WI is a founding partner in the Climate Coalition which organises this annual visual campaign to raise awareness of Climate Change.

Never has there been so much passion and urgency around our rapidly increasing climate. We would like to ask you to encourage your members to make and distribute green hearts in your community to highlight local, national and international issues.

The NFWI has a great campaign pack which they will send you if you ask. There are also useful resources on MyWI and we would like to share your story on social media, the website and Surrey WI News, so please send us photos and stories. If you have other climate action groups within your community you could partner with them to provide a larger community project. Please let us know your success stories so we can inspire other WIs to get involved.

***A Campaign Calendar for the first half of 2020, drawn up by our Public Affairs Committee, was displayed at the Annual Council Meeting. It lists month- by-month the campaigns on which we shall focus during the year including Show the Love (February), cervical cancer screening (March) and Dementia Awareness (May). More details in next month’s Surrey WI News.

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Calling all committee members!

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This year your WI Advisers are holding several workshops to help you gather information, ideas, tips and skills necessary to aid the smooth running of your WI.

These workshops will be aimed at and relevant for ALL committee members and we encourage at least one person from your WI to sign up. The WI is continually involving and we are conscious of trying to help you all to stay informed and relevant  so you are able to offer members the best WI experience you can.

The workshops will have a session of general committee information and duties, then we will deliver Secretary and President workshops which will be open to all committee members, not just those holding officer posts. We will introduce current regulations around data storage, photo consents, use of social media as well as all the usual information you need to run your WI.

Dates, times and venues are:

Wednesday, 12 February  – Belmont Bowling Club, Broadlands Avenue, Streatham SW16 1NA and East Horsley Village Hall, Kingston Avenue, East Horsley KT24 6QT.  Both will run from 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm.

Thursday, 13 February – Ottershaw Village Hall, Brox Road, Ottershaw KT16 0HL from 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm.

Monday, 17 February – Woodhatch Centre, Whitebeam Drive, Reigate RH2 7LF from 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm.

Each session costs £9 which can be paid by your WI with members’ agreement. The closing date is Friday, 10 January but please sign up early so that if necessary, extra workshops can be arranged.

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Money Matters (December 2019)

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As announced last month we are planning to hold four (+ 2 additional) workshops for Treasurers in February. Dates and venues can be found on the What’s On page.

Areas we plan to cover include the role of the treasurer, how or where to record transactions, how to reconcile the bank account (including how the bank reconciliation feature works on the 2020 Surrey spreadsheet), discussion of the types of expenditure that is allowed, practical problems resulting from bank closures and other topics as required.

The workshop format means you can have input and will learn from other Treasurers, not just me. Participation is helpful but not essential. However, this also means the topics covered in most detail are flexible as we will concentrate on what appear to be attendees’ main requirements as each session develops.

The workshops are for Treasurers, Assistant Treasurers, anyone thinking about the role and are timed to be of use to new Treasurers.Those who have been in place for a while will still find them useful; for example, you might get to understand what an agent is, or how gift aid now works, or that you are missing a helpful feature on the 2020 Surrey spreadsheet which is updated each year.

The 2020 spreadsheet is available from the WI Treasurers tab on the Document Library page.

If you have specific queries about your WI’s figures we might have a chance to answer them, so you might want your laptop or accounts book with you (WiFi access cannot be guaranteed).

Tickets are £9 for each session.The cost and reasonable travel expenses may be reclaimed from your WI with its agreement.Tea and coffee will be provided. Closing date: 15 December.

Sheena Landgraf, Federation Treasurer

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What’s new from HQ (December 2019)

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Thank you to all WIs who returned their annual forms, financial statements and information forms promptly. These forms contain much information which has to be updated on the MCS to ensure you get the right resources. If you have not already done so, can you please ensure all forms are completed, returned accurately and clearly as soon as possible? Even if there are no changes please put “no changes”. Thank you very much for your help with this.

Please note: Christmas closure — the Federation office will close at 4pm on Friday, 20 December 2019 and re-open at 9am on Thursday, 2 January 2020.

The admin team would like to take this opportunity to wish all members a very merry Christmas and a happy and healthy 2020.

Diane Sanderson, Federation Secretary

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Message from our Federation Chairman (December 2019)

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AS THE daughter of a head teacher, and subsequently a university lecturer, the passing of time was always marked by terms rather than seasons. It was therefore a surprise when I retired, when sometimes even the day of the week had no significance. As a lover of the outdoors and a passionate gardener, however, my life has increasingly been measured by the passing of the seasons. Harvesting vegetables, putting the garden to sleep, planting afresh, and sometimes longing for its awakening in Spring. The nights have drawn in and as we approach the point at which night is longer than the day, we enter the season of festivals. The solstice is an event I mark with an exchange of messages with a colleague of over 40 years. It is a celebration of friendship, the original reason for which has long been forgotten. It’s strange how traditions are born.

Festivals come tumbling out of the calendar at this time of year. In late October comes Diwali, the Hindu and Sikh Festival of Light, which celebrates the victory of light over darkness and good over evil, followed only a few days later by Hallowe’en and the Festival of All Saints’, both dates in the Christian calendar. Hallowe’en, the festival of All Hallows, is dedicated to the naming of the dead and is derived from a Celtic pagan festival, celebrating the harvest, whilst All Saints’ Day commemorates the relationship between the living and the dead and in modern times extends up to Remembrance Sunday. It is celebrated by the lighting of candles. And on into December, with the rapid succession of Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, and Christmas, with its tradition dating back to the 15th century of houses decked symbolically with holly, ivy and bay and, of course, lights. After participation in a Federation Christmas table decoration class, I now collect armfuls of greenery, go to town and Deck the Hall with boughs of Holly. The result is lovely, but the process is rather painful! These festivals share not only the symbol of light but also the common threads of tradition and mindfulness, of families and friendships, and the communal sharing of food.

As we celebrate the festive season and join with our WI friends, it is a good time in the year to remember what the WI offers us and what is at its core. A place ‘Where Everyone is Welcome’, where you can ‘Enjoy Support and Friendship’ and the opportunity to share in fun and companionship, and, for that brief time, live for the moment.

Do you remember the wonderful conversation recounted by A.A. Milne: “What day is it? asked Winnie the Pooh.“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.“My favourite day,” said Pooh.

Shall we all follow their example through this festive season?

Carol A. Gartrell, Federation Chairman

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Fancy a WI Holiday in Jersey?

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JERSEY WI members invite you to visit their beautiful island from 6-13 May, and attend the 75th anniversary of Liberation Day.

The price is £525 per person for a double or twin-bedded shared room (single £735) and includes guided visits to places of interest.

Accommodation at the Mayfair Hotel, St Helier (pictured) is on a half-board basis and travel to and from Jersey is not included. Friends and family are welcome.

Email jerseywi.holiday@yahoo.com or ring Joy on 01534 732295 for more information.

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Walking Netball Success

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Having heard interesting presentations at the Annual Federation Meeting about Walking Netball it is an extra bonus to hear about Surrey successes in a recent Festival.

Well done and congratulations to GreatBookhamBelles for winning at the London and South East WI Walking Netball Festival held on Saturday 9th November at the the Oasis Academy, Coulsdon.

Six teams competed and the full results are
1st Great Bookham Belles
2nd Broadstairs, Brede & St Peters
3rd Bexley Village
4th Old Coulsdon Cupcakes
Joint 5th Hadlow, and Limpsfield

Spirit of Netball awards:

Most friendly player: Wendy Cotton of Limpsfield WI

Most helpful team: Hadlow WI

Most improved players: Kim Roffey and Christine Myatt both of Old Coulsdon Cupcakes WI

Well done to everyone who took part!

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