Hayle WI Keeps on Going!

The certificate presented to Hayle WI for their beautiful flower bed on Penpol Terrace.

Unfortunately, Hayle WI only managed to hold two meetings this year before the Covid restrictions brought a sudden halt to their planned meetings and outings.

However, two activities have been able to continue:

The walking group has continued to enjoy their monthly local strolls especially in the summer months, including an evening walk away from the crowds. This has proved beneficial not only for physical health but also for mental wellbeing. Thank you to Carol Curnow for organizing these walks.

The gardening group led by Julia Jackson has continued to be busy throughout the year and many locals and visitors alike have complimented the women on having such a colourful flower bed. Even in winter, the bed is still a riot of colour and spring bulbs are starting to peek through the soil.

The members were delighted to be awarded a certificate from the Royal Horticultural Society/ South West Hayle in Bloom in recognition of the contribution the flower bed has made to the community of Hayle in providing an appreciation of nature.

Three Hayle WI members have also been busy adopting a flower bed on King George’s Walk. For Remembrance Day the bed was adorned with poppies and, for Christmas, was decorated with colourful baubles and even a naughty elf hiding in the tree, much to the delight of young passers-by.

Until meetings can resume in person, Hayle WI members will rely on communication by email or snail mail for those who do not have access to the internet, and all committee meetings will be on Zoom. Check Hayle WI’s Facebook page for further updates.

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Take Part in Countryfile’s ‘Plant Britain’ Campaign!

BBC One - Countryfile - Take part in Plant BritainMany members will have seen the launch of the Plant Britain Campaign on BBC’s Countryfile  last month.

The aim is ‘to get everyone planting in a big, ambitious two-year project where we can all do our bit in the battle against climate change and to help wildlife and our own wellbeing.’

The Campaign has the initial goal of planting 750,000 trees across the UK – one for every primary school starter in 2020. An interactive map has been provided so that anyone planting a tree can show its location and add to the total. There is collaboration with the Woodland Trust, who can provide trees as well as advice about species, planting and tree care, and there is a chance for those planting a lot of trees to be involved with the Countryfile programme.

This is an opportunity and encouragement for individual members and WIs to plant trees and really contribute to increasing the numbers in Cornwall on the interactive map. Please send your stories and photos to CFWI (cfwi.publications@gmail.com) as we would like to collate and celebrate the efforts of our members and feature them in a future edition of County News.

More information is available on the BBC’s Plant Britain website.

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Sheffield & District Joins in the ‘Meeting in a Bag’ Fun!

Members of Sheffield & District WI committee with ‘meetings in a bag’ for their members

The committee of Sheffield & District WI made up and delivered 25 surprise bags to their members this Christmas. Each bag contained a card, quizzes, recipes, a note pad and pen, Christmas tissues and chocolates, as well as County News and WI membership booklet.

Sheffield’s President Sue sent every member a seasonal letter, giving news of the WI.

Sheffield & District WI’s decorated window

This year, Sheffield WI once again decorated the ‘old shop’ window, thanks to Claire and Chris the new owners, to complement the effort made by the residents in Paul, to celebrate Christmas, in these strange times.

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Happy Christmas to All!

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Social Prescribing Survey

Help shape the future of social prescribing by completing the Social Prescribing Survey.

Volunteer Cornwall is working with Rahul Mittal from the University of Exeter Business School and local public, voluntary and community sector organisations, to understand the impact of Social Prescribing in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

They are keen to hear from voluntary and community groups and organisations of all sizes who work across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Even if you’re not currently involved in Social Prescribing or not quite sure what it is, we still want to hear from you.

Please complete the survey here.

It will take about 30 minutes to complete. The closing date is Friday 8th January 2021.

Also, on 13th January 2021 from 11-1pm, there will be a Social Prescribing webinar which will be a chance to be the first to hear the findings of this survey. To register your interest for this webinar, please contact sarah.stevens@pluss.org.uk.  

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Mermaids: Mylor & Flushing Raise Funds for Foodbank

Mermaids: Mylor & Flushing WI held a very successful Covid-secure Christmas cake and craft and raffle event earlier this month at Tremayne Hall, Mylor Bridge. Everything went very smoothly with the help of volunteers, generous donations, home baked cakes, biscuits, treats and handmade goods. Members of the WI were thrilled to be able to raise money for Penryn & Falmouth Foodbank and to provide a community event after the lockdowns this year.

Mermaids: Mylor & Flushing WI express thanks for their President’s hard work and dedication. Well done, Fran!

Huge thanks must go to Mermaids President Fran Michael, whose hard work and planning led to the success of this event. Not only this but she has kept up an almost daily ‘Rambling’ online blog which has kept all the members in touch, amused and informed since the beginning of the first lockdown. It has really helped the Mermaids still feel part of a WI community and has been a brilliant forum for news, exchange of ideas, tips, help and fun.

Fran seems able to turn her hand to everything from cooking, crafting, knitting gardening, running up a matching mask and apron (see picture), and has still found the energy to provide a service collecting and dropping off all manner of items to villagers and members. The Mermaids are very fortunate and would like to take this opportunity to thank and applaud her for her commitment, hard work, dedication, cheerfulness and encouragement during this really difficult and stressful year.

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Mawnan WI Has Been Busy this Christmas!

Mawnan WI’s Christmas fundraising tree

Keeping in mind the WI’s No More Violence against Women campaign, Mawnan WI decided that this Christmas they would fundraise for The Women’s Centre Cornwall. The Women’s Centre provides support for women who have experienced domestic abuse; since lockdown there has been a steady rise in these incidents. Mawnan WI members and village residents were invited to make a decoration for the Mawnan WI Fundraising Christmas Tree and were asked to give £1 to the charity for each decoration which they hung on the tree (which was generously donated by Falmouth Garden Centre).

Mawnan WI members queue up to post 126 Christmas cards

Over a year ago Mawnan WI members were busy planning an exciting programme of extra activities to celebrate their 2020 centenary. Many of the ideas focussed on the number 100, and the women did manage to complete one challenge which was to pick 100 bunches of daffodils to give to friends and neighbours. Then, of course, we were all thrown into lockdown. Although the members have had to adapt and think creatively about some of their activities and events, they have still been able to accomplish some of them – the latest being the challenge of sending 100 Christmas cards. This was upped to 126 so that members could send a card to each WI in Cornwall! Each member was invited to write a short message in a card about what the WI has meant to them this year and a note was inserted explaining the challenge.  The members hope that these cards will show how important it is to keep connected with other groups across the county who share the values of the WI.

Away in a Garage!

Despite some torrential showers and blustery winds, there was a real sense of community as residents and Mawnan WI members went out and about taking a Sunday afternoon walk and visiting up to six garages around the village last weekend. The garages were open for an outdoor charity fundraising event: “Away in a … Garage”! The owners of each garage had decorated them with lights and played Christmas music to create a festive atmosphere. Mulled wine, mince pies and cakes, books, scarves, decorations, pottery, jams and chutneys were available along with two great tombolas and raffles for a hamper, and a beautifully decorated Christmas cake. A stunning £1,130 was raised for St Petroc’s , the local charity for the homeless. 

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WIs Embrace ‘Meeting in a Bag’!

Torpoint WI’s beautifully festive bags

WIs all over Cornwall have been delivering wonderful bags of treats to their members as part of NFWI’s ‘Meeting in a Bag’ suggestion.

Members of Torpoint WI’s committee are delivered 34 bags containing a napkin and napkin ring, after-dinner-mint holder, two tree decorations, mystery wrapped gift, quiz and a mince pie.

Crowlas & Ludgvan WI delivered bags to nearly 60 members from St Ives to Sennen. Wendie Leo of the WI’s committee said, “We thought a lot about the contents and wanted to make sure everything was in line with NFWI guidance.”

Two of Crowlas & Ludgvan WI’s delivery elves … or are they reindeer?

The bags, which were delivered by jolly WI elves, contained:

  • A quiz about women in history
  • Instructions and materials for making paper stars
  • A homemade cracker with chocolates in it – because it’s Christmas and everyone should have a sweet treat for themselves or to share with others!
  • A handmade beeswax candle, accompanied by some information about bees (tying in with the WI’s SOS for Honeybees campaign)
  • A bookmark because reading is vital for women’s education – accompanied by the business card for BorrowBox (tying in with NFWI’s Love Your Libraries campaign, as well as the Link Together to Alleviate Loneliness campaign)
  • A bag of daffodil bulbs and a packet of flower seeds to offer a potential out door activity for those with gardens (but instructions for other options)  – educational, but also with the hope of new life next year and something to look forward to which we all need.
  • A handmade lavender bag made with home grown lavender – at this stressful time the calming and sleep-aiding properties of lavender made it a positive addition to the bag.
  • A wooden Christmas tree decoration
  • A Crowlas & Ludgvan WI branded pen to give members a link back to their WI
  • A personalised refillable hand sanitizer container – so topical, and it will always remind members of their 2020 WI experience in lockdown
  • A handmade Christmas card from all the committee
  • And, finally, everything arrived in a handmade reusable fabric bag, tagged with Crowlas and Ludgvan WI again to remind the members of their important place in our WI

The exciting contents of the bag delivered to Coads Green WI members

Coads Green WI also provided a ‘Meeting in a Bag’ for members. Coads Green Press Officer Genny Rennie noted, “This has been a year when clubs and groups have had to adapt and change, and Coads Green WI has been no exception.” President Linda Willan and the committee organised a festive surprise for members, this month, which demonstrated many of their skills. The normal December meeting, which would have taken place in the chapel parlour, was replaced by bringing the meeting to members’ doors, in the form of a bag. Each member was presented with a Christmas bag, complete with a handmade gift tag, which contained County News, the WI membership booklet, a quiz, a crossword, a Christmas card, a chocolate novelty, delicious homemade biscuits, a handmade coin purse complete with a coin, a beautifully painted bookmark and a hand crafted notebook. There was also a letter from Linda to keep everyone connected, as well as a potted plant to bring a bit of festive cheer. Vice-President Daphne Tucker and Secretary Pat Mallett took on the roles of Santa’s elves by delivering the surprises, meeting up with and greeting members they had not seen for a while.

Has your WI done something similar? If so, we’d love to hear about it! Email us on cfwi.publications@gmail.com.


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Big Trees from Little Ideas Grow

Pictured (left to right) Julia Havard, Chair of CFWI’s Environment & Public Affairs sub-committee; Euan McPhee, Chairman of the Friends of Tregoniggie Woodland; Cllr Malcolm Bennett, Chairman of Budock Parish Council; Grace Bradford, member of the CFWI Board of Trustees and President of Falmouth WI; Jane Cartwright, head of sales at Persimmon Homes; and Cllr Steve Eva, Mayor of Falmouth.

CFWI was delighted to take part in a tree planting ceremony in Falmouth on Monday.

The Woodland Trust has a fabulous scheme in which they give away trees to schools and community groups. CFWI’s delivery of over 400 trees arrived last month, ready to plant in this glorious location next to a new housing development and adjoining Tregoniggie Woodland. Following our suggestion to the Falmouth Green Corridor Forum last year, the plan has grown and grown and at the latest count there will be a total of nearly 4000 trees planted.

Of course the “trees” are currently just six-inch tall twigs – so we have to be patient! If you look carefully you will see that everyone on the picture is holding one.

Planting trees is such a lovely thing to do on so many levels. This Falmouth planting will help improve the environment for local residents, and will be an educational aid and an introduction to the natural environment for the local schoolchildren. It is a source of oxygen, a habitat, an extension of the green corridor, and a thing of beauty (after a bit). It is so nice to have something to celebrate for a change!

If you are interested in learning more about the tree planting scheme, check out The Woodland Trust website.

We are no experts, but do contact the Environment & Public Affairs sub-committee if you would like more information, or if you have an idea for another planting by us for next year.

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A Recipe Book from Boscastle WI!

The women of Boscastle WI don’t sit on their laurels and, following on from their success with the Scarecrow Challenge earlier in the year, they leapt into creating a recipe book. The 54-page cookbook, entitled Eat, Drink & Be Merry .. with a touch of Mother’s Ruin Cocktails was a giant undertaking, including recipes submitted by WI members and local businesses, as well as from sponsors. The smorgasbord of options will help you through easy-to-make, budget-conscious, group entertainment, decadent cocktail making and extensive choices from soup and starters, vegetarian, fish, main meals, desserts, as well as biscuits and cakes.

Not to be overlooked is the category on delicious cheeses and gin, contributed by sponsors Cornish Gouda Co. and Tarquin’s Gin/Twin Fin Rum. Other sponsors include Boscastle Farm Shop, Cornish Stores, Lynher Dairies, The Old Manor House, The Napoleon Inn, The Riverside and The Wellington Hotel. The WI is grateful to all sponsors for their contributions.

Many of the members contributed recipes, helped with recipe testing and proof reading. However, the lioness’s share of the work was carried out by Julie Potter, Boscastle WI President, and June Mathers of Boscastle WI’s Programme Committee, who used her expertise in the printing industry to design and put together what turned out to be a beautifully professional book.

The books make wonderful gifts for Christmas, birthdays, new homeowners, as a thank you and so forth. Stock up now and be ready and whatever you do, don’t forget to get one for your own kitchen. One WI member said, “I’ve tried several of the recipes already and they are all delicious. I plan to use at least one a week until I’ve cooked my way through them all!”

A portion of the proceeds will be given by the WI to kick-start a life-saving defibrillator for the upper village.

The book is on sale at The Cornish Stores in Boscastle for £4.95, but Boscastle WI is making it available to WI members around the country for the discounted rate of £3.95, plus postage. To order your copy, email: wiboscastle@gmail.com.

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