Through the Garden Gate with Mawnan WI

Mawnan WI has held an Annual Garden Safari for a number of years; each time about a dozen gardens around the village have been open to visitors. During the afternoon, there has been the chance to sit down in one of the gardens to enjoy a homemade Cornish Cream Tea, browse through books for sale or purchase plants.

Last year Mawnan WI raised nearly £3,000 for Children’s Hospice South West (CHSW), and they had aimed to be even more successful with their fundraising for CHSW in 2020. However, the pandemic meant that the women had to change their plans and instead they decided to run a virtual event: Through the Garden Gate.

An amazing 44 members and friends took part by sending photos of themselves by their garden gates and four others photos of different parts of their gardens. Everyone then had to guess who owns which garden – this was more challenging than you would think, although some participants had included helpful clues.

The Garden Safari has always been one of Mawnan WI’s most popular events for both members and the local community. As the WI is in its centenary year in 2020, the members wanted to do something really special to celebrate. The result was a video of Through the Garden Gate, giving a glimpse into some of the beautiful gardens in Mawnan Smith.

The video also reveals for the first time Mawnan WI’s celebratory plaque which will hang in the Memorial Hall where the group usually meets – it was designed and made by one of the members to reflect the ethos of Mawnan WI.

In these difficult times, the CHSW care team is even busier than usual and the charity depends on fundraising in the community: Every pound counts. Mawnan WI’s Through the Garden Gate video can be seen on YouTube and Facebook, and they would like to invite as many people as possible to view it and support the fantastic work of CHSW by donating here.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Climate Coalition Mass Lobby

Pippa Stilwell, CFWI Climate Ambassador

Report from Pippa Stiwell, CFWI Climate Ambassador

As part of the Climate Coalition Mass Lobby, this past week Climate Ambassadors Julia Havard and Pippa Stilwell joined Zennor WI President Wyn Brookes and four other constituents to meet St Ives MP Derek Thomas and discuss progress on tackling climate change.

We enjoyed a wide-ranging and friendly conversation, covering such topics as tree-planting, flooding and water management, improving building standards to achieve carbon neutral housing, and pushing the Government to achieve its net-zero target. Derek Thomas agreed to all the Climate Coalition requests, and asked us to develop a petition asking Cornwall Council to set up a properly constituted Citizens’ Assembly. He also asked us to read the latest report of the Committee on Climate Change and write to him regarding the failings of individual Government Departments. He undertook to set up a follow-up Zoom meeting in a month.

Do let us know if you managed to meet your MP as part of the Mass Lobby, either on the day or later on. We know that most Cornwall MPs are committed to tackling Climate Change, and it is good to know what issues concern them most.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Truro WI Members Join Climate Coalition Lobby

Three members of Truro WI (Fiona Hughes, Margaret Cogan and Mary Lindsey) joined the Climate Coalition Lobby meeting with Cherilyn Mackrory, MP for Truro and Falmouth, this Tuesday.

The focus was on the Green Recovery that needs to be integral to Build Back Better. Cherilyn said that Cornwall is well-positioned to play a big part in this with the potential for new jobs in renewable energy, lithium mining, and other related areas. She is very committed to nature conservation and serves on the Committee for the Environment Bill, as well as the Conservative Environment Network.

The Truro WI members felt it was a very useful and productive meeting with much sharing of ideas and information, and they hope to keep in touch with the other participants.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Trevone WI Holds Virtual Chelsea Flower Show

Trevone WI President Liz Baker has been busy organising a series of summertime virtual events for members during the Covid-19 lockdown.

The first of these was the Trevone WI Virtual Chelsea Flower Show, held in May. Members submitted entries to the flower show by posting photographs to Trevone’s Facebook page of their gardens, particularly highlighting colourful or rare plants, or plant related items. The response was amazing with a wonderful vast selection of plants and flowers. All members were able to visit the show simply by logging on. The committee had hoped to award Best in Show but the number of entries was so great and the standard so high this proved too difficult to organise.

The next event for Trevone will be a Virtual Ascot Ladies’ Day!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Re-Opening Village Halls

Mount Hawke WI Hall

Here at CFWI, we’ve received a number of enquiries from WIs and WI members about how and when to re-open their halls.

Some of you belong to WIs that own their own halls, some of you serve on committees of your local halls and some of you just may be curious as to how this will all proceed.

We have contacted NFWI and are awaiting guidance. As soon as we receive any information, we will, of course, pass it on to our WIs. In the meantime, however, this document may be of interest to you.

The link given above pertains to Cornwall Rural Community Council (CRCC), which has been working with other Rural Community Councils across England to develop guidance on the reopening of village halls. Confirmation was given on 22 June by the Government that community centres and village halls can reopen from the 4 July, providing they are COVID secure.

There is useful information available, so please do have a read through the document and all of its links.



Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Social Distancing for Ladock WI Committee

Ladock WI’s first socially distanced Committee meeting was held by their Secretary’s beautiful lake.

We’re not sure many WIs can boast such a lovely venue for their meetings!

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Mermaids Hold Stone Festival and Tea Party

Mermaids: Mylor and Flushing WI held a Decorated Stone Festival recently, open to all in the Mylor and Flushing villages. Stones decorated on the general theme of ‘Life’ were left outside homes and will be gathered up to be displayed next year in Tremayne Hall.

On Father’s Day, the Mermaids gave away tea bags and packaged pieces of home-made cake to passing strollers, offering the whole community a ‘take-away tea’. This was a great success and over 100 buns, biscuits and pieces of cake were handed out.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Climate Change Books for Lockdown Reading

Over the years, many of us have signed up to the Climate Vision 10 Pledges. In Pledge 3, we undertook to educate ourselves about the science and impacts of Climate Change. There are plenty of good books out there, so we decided to read some and recommend the best and most accessible. Here are two which might interest you – one non-fiction and one fiction.

First, The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis by Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnec (Manilla Press, 2020, ISBN 978-1-83877-082-2). Ms Figueres is an internationally recognised leader on global climate change who led the difficult international discussions which resulted in the Paris Climate Agreement of 2015. Tom Rivett-Carnac helped to mobilise support for the agreement.

The authors set out alternative scenarios: the one where we fail to make the necessary changes and by 2050 endure a changed world spiralling out of control, or the one where the world is able to breathe, the air is fresh, nature is thriving, and entire populations have a better quality of life. They maintain that we still have time to choose between these opposing scenarios, and they set out 10 actions we can take to achieve the one we want.

Next, a novel: The End We Start From by Megan Hunter (Picador, 2017, ISBN 978-1-5098-4398-5). Megan Hunter’s first short novel is a mother’s poignant account of birth and motherhood as a refugee seeking shelter and safety from the flooding of London which has made it uninhabitable. The author has a poetic, sparse and fragmentary style using initials instead of names for her characters, and the book is interspersed with extracts from mythical creation texts which adds to its haunting quality.

There is no dialogue and, along with the lack of names, the other characters are not developed which results in a self-reflective monologue which only hints at the chaos and deprivation that can follow a climate disaster. This novel makes the consequences of climate change a very individual and human reality using an unusual evocative style.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Downderry & Seaton Members are Zooming

Like many WIs in Cornwall and across the UK, Downderry and Seaton have been meeting via Zoom. President Maura Swabey attended a Zoom course before signing up and joining; the subscription being paid for from WI funds. Members have been holding committee meetings, monthly meetings and a ‘ Not in the Pub’ social evening where there is always lots of chat, a game or a quiz. In May, members heard an excellent talk from Mary Wakeham who runs the Refuge4Pets charity which supports and finds foster homes for pets from families suffering domestic abuse. Since her talk, one of Downderry and Seaton’s members has crocheted several small blankets for the animals. Next up was a talk from seasoned WI Speaker and Blue Badge guide, Lynn Goold who told the women much about Daphne du Maurier that they did not know. Members are now planning a post-lockdown walk around Rebecca country complete with readings from the book. Zoom has helped the women feel connected and has ensured that their WI is still active; they’ve even managed to recruit a new member!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Be Part of History

Do you remember last year’s Mass Lobby in Westminster, in which WI members displayed their wonderful temperature scarf, and joined 12,000 other Climate Coalition members to tackle their MPs about climate change? Westminster is a long way from Cornwall, but this year the lobby is virtual: We can ask our MP to join us and other constituents, to hold this vital conversation via Zoom.

It’s worth knowing that, of our six Cornwall MPs, one, George Eustace, is Environment Minister, and four are members of the Conservative Environment Network and also the all-party Oceans Conservation group: Steve Double (Chair), Cherilyn Mackrory (Vice Chair), Derek Thomas and Scott Mann. They are also working closely with our very own Surfers Against Sewage. So we can congratulate them on the work they are doing, and let them know that we are completely behind them as they work to Build Back Better after the pandemic.

Use this link to sign up to the lobby, and write to invite your MP to join.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment