To avoid a period of inactivity and the blues that can result from limited social contact, Boscastle WI has created a surge of options to engage members, some of which spilled over into the community.
First and foremost was getting on board with Zoom meetings early in the first lock-down. Very quickly the WI decided that the investment to get a paid Zoom account was well worthwhile so that members could meet for more than 40 minutes. Only four of the 29 members are without internet or a computer/smartphone/tablet. As soon as restrictions were lifted, Boscastle’s Secretary set up in-person meetings for those without Zoom capability, while simultaneously Zooming for all other members, quite a few of whom were still isolating. This was hugely successful and will probably be the method of the future, to allow members who can’t attend in-person meetings (due to illness, disability, holidays, etc.) to participate.
Over the last few months, Boscastle’s members have enjoyed guest speakers and learned things they didn’t know. WaterAid volunteer, Barrie Galley informed them about the tragedy faced by millions of people around the world who don’t have access to clean potable water and sanitation that most of us take for granted. As this image shows, the members’ attention was grabbed as they got wrapped up in this huge need and learned about what can be done to help.
In October, they enjoyed a fun-filled presentation titled “New Orleans to New York”, delivered by Roger Browne from his dedicated home studio, including stories of the remarkable people and hilarious events that have coloured a fascinating lifetime of performance.
Most recently they had talk about bees, learning lots of interesting information, including the pitfalls and triumphs of starting up as a beekeeper during a pandemic.
Dreaming up a village-wide activity resulted in a true snowball effect, although the weather was definitely on the WI’s side in June as members proceeded with their Scarecrow Challenge. Quickly escalating from their enthusiastic crafty members, they ended up with 98 entries as residents jumped in, thrilled with the opportunity to try their hand at creating the winning entry. The village was jazzed up with wildly diverse and imaginative characters. The three judges included the President of nearby Marshgate WI. The winning categories were Judges Choice, People’s Choice and Under 16s.
Boscastle WI member Mary Shepherd, an avid crafter who enters Royal Cornwall Show contests every year, wasn’t an award winner, however, her delightful scarecrow, “White Rabbit” won many hearts, lots of praise and was frequently referred to as Peter Rabbit.
Boscastle WI President, Julie Potter, wasn’t an award winner either but certainly showed her creative talent with her “Don’t Drink and Fly” witch.