Sheila Goldsworthy writes a wonderful monthly WI column for The Cornishman. Here is Sheila’s August column:
WI members have been honing their computer skills by keeping in touch, and advancing their general knowledge by taking part in lectures, especially those organised by Denman at Home. In the latest edition of WI Life there is a very informative article celebrating just one year of this unique WI resource which has seen over 70,000 people participate in 794 courses and events, experiencing a high level of service and support making it attractive to book this facility. The history sessions have been particularly popular covering topics from home and abroad. The online cookery suits all levels, perhaps even a pasty is on the menu! The craft classes cover a huge range of topics. “Lifestyle” seems to be the buzz word these days, so those classes are included as well as music and dance. We are told all we need to join in the fun is internet access, and you can join using a PC, laptop, tablet or mobile phone. It is also possible to listen to talks on the landline.
The WI has always been very good at learning to adapt to any situation, so this is another pursuit to try. However, nothing replaces human contact and most Cornish WIs have made sure everyone has felt involved, which is a key to being a member by taking part in social activities, enjoying Cornwall’s wonderful landscape, by exploring our footpaths and holding afternoon teas in members’ gardens, diligently keeping to all the NHS guidelines. However, soon most WIs will begin meeting again for their usual formal meetings and try to resume their social and educational programmes.
Recent correspondence from our Cornwall Federation office is asking for more members to consider sharing their skills and interests by joining the Home Economics and Craft Sub-committee, thereby sharing ideas with WI members across Cornwall. This has been a very talented and busy committee organising a raft of various craft days. Many members have enjoyed the four corner days where a legion of different crafts was taught much to the delight and satisfaction of the members. In the past, all the cookery demonstrations were very popular (usually over-subscribed) and held in every corner of the County, This committee has always had the reputation of having a very enjoyable time – for instance who would have thought that by joining the Home Economics and Craft Sub-committee someone would eventually end up on a BBC game show called Step up to the Plate and meet Anton Du Beke? Even more hilarious times were shared when Rosemary Slee and Alison Gribble travelled all over Cornwall and Devon demonstrating their “Two Cooks and a Carrier Bag” sessions. Laughter guaranteed! The present committee would love to continue to organise more of these events, but now need some help with new faces to come up with new and exciting plans, so is asking if any member would like to sit in on one of their sub-committee meetings, without any obligation or even have an informal chat with the secretary of this committee, Pat Mallett, to find out more.
The first major CFWI event of the year to be organized will be The Chy Noweth Show on 10 and 11 September, where there will be a series of stalls and competitions and the Board members are pleading for handmade craft items for their stall. We can all follow Tom Daley and knit a few items. Knitting will become even more popular now after all the publicity he has received. There will be the usual scrumptious food and best of all a chance to meet WI friends. For further information ring 01872 272843.
The NFWI is encouraging all WI members to take part in the “Great Big Green Week” from 18 to 26 September, with a comprehensive article in WI Life. There has been a great deal of publicity encouraging members to take part in events celebrating action on climate change. Communities across the UK will be joining together to celebrate local action and protect our green spaces. Fairtrade have also been dominant in pleading for support for the banana farmers who are threatened by severe weather conditions and floods, desperately trying to earn money to feed their families; usually Cornish members are only too willing to support a worthy cause.