It came as an awful blow to St Dominick WI … lockdown, that is.
“Oh dear,” the committee said back in March 2020. “How do we adjust to this for our members who all paid their subscriptions for 2020? We can’t let them down! We must do something!”
So they put their heads together and made the decision to cancel their April meeting, and then sorted out how to adjust. All but two of the members of St Dominick use email, so that was a good start. Members were asked if they would like to use Zoom or Google for meetings. “Oh, no!” came the cry from quite a few. “I can’t do that; I’m not clever enough.”
The reply from the committee was: We’ll teach you!
One committee member took on the role of instructor in the art of using the Zoom platform. Of course, using Zoom is one thing but staying connected in remote areas is quite another when signals are generally out of one’s own control. Eventually, there were members in bedrooms, in the garden shed or sitting and not daring to move for fear of losing a signal.
It all worked and the members got through it. The two members without email were given it a summary of the meeting in written form the next day.
During 2020, St Dominick provided some excellent speakers, quiz nights and bingo (that was a huge success with a member’s husband as the caller – a real double act and very amusing). Other activities included flower arranging competitions, wildlife photo competitions, filled goody bags hand-delivered to members’ homes with strict instructions not to open until the meeting night. The members sat in their homes on Zoom, waiting for St Dominick President Kirsty to give the all clear to open the goody bags.
St Dominick’s Secretary sent out a monthly newsletter, with tips, ideas, suggestions of music to listen to and a bit of silly nonsense. When rules allowed there was a garden meeting and the members found it a real treat to see each other in person.
Monthly socially distanced walks round the village’s beautiful and very quiet lanes were well attended.
The committee worked well and took on the tasks with enthusiasm, all the time keeping the members’ interests at heart. Nothing is insurmountable when inspiring women are involved!
Probably the greatest reward of all for St Dominick WI was the addition of five new members. Word of mouth had got around the community that St Dominick was having a good time despite all that was thrown at them during that awful pandemic year.
Well done, St Dominick WI!