During these very difficult times, when we are not able to meet up with family and friends, North Petherwyn WI member (and former President) Toni Martin, has been producing a newsletter, the Viral Voice, for online distribution around the Parish of North Petherwyn. Toni also produces an appendix to the newsletter specifically for members of North Petherwyn WI, which includes contact details of members who can undertake shopping for others, or who can be available at the end of a phone line for a little chat. The newsletter also includes birthday and anniversary wishes or news of other happy events in members’ families; useful information about local food deliveries; tips on how to maintain a healthy mind and body; advice on how to look after pets; postponements and cancellations of local and regional events; TV recommendations; messages from local church leaders; and, not least, word games, quizzes and a fair sprinkling of jokes and humour!
Toni has also instigated a programme of virtual events for North Petherwyn WI members, which includes regular Zoom coffee mornings, a Zoom quiz to include family members, and a Zoom wine and cheese evening to replace the usual monthly meeting. ‘Bring your Own’ is the obvious advice for the latter event! Dates and details are circulated in the newsletter, and have helped members to maintain their support for and friendship with each other. As not all the members are very tech-savvy, there has been a lot of fun and laughter when trying to set up the Zoom get-togethers – frozen screens, lost connections, lots of waving and interesting glimpses of homes and gardens.
As a WI group, the members would like to highlight the many hours Toni puts in, in producing the informative, reassuring and entertaining newsletter. Not only is it of benefit to North Petherwyn WI members and their families, but also to the wider population of the rural parish. Her efforts are greatly appreciated and certainly a ‘good news’ story in what remain uncertain and challenging times for us all.