‘WI Talk’ by Sheila Goldsworthy

Sheila Goldsworthy writes a wonderful monthly WI column for The Cornishman. Here is Sheila’s May column:

Cornwall appears to be getting very excited about the G7 Summit taking place on our doorstep in June. How much more dynamic it would be if the G stood for Green instead of just Group! However, as so often, Cornish WI members are fully aware the WI was advocating being GREEN decades ago not just in this century, which for some today appears as a trendy and fashionable ideal.

When joining the WI, women in Cornwall are asked to adhere to the aims of our WI Green Charter, created in 2006, which states:

We shall aim:

  1. to minimise our effect on the environment by:
    1. reducing consumption
    2. using resources more efficiently
    3. recycling
    4. seeking not to pollute
  2. to consider the environmental impact when making any Board of Trustees decisions
  3. to create and adhere to an action plan, to be reviewed and, if necessary, updated annually
  4. to encourage through communication and training, all those using Chy Noweth, all WIs and all those associated with the Cornwall Federation of Women’s institutes to use responsible environmental procedures
  5. to monitor and evaluate our environmental performance, and to make the findings available to interested parties and the public

Members are reminded of their Charter, which is beautifully framed, at Chy Noweth an Conteth, and also is always printed in the front of our Yearbook.

Tree planting has also been a consistent WI ambition, receiving complimentary headlines in the media. “Plant a tree in ‘73” was a familiar slogan when the Duchy Woodland donated trees for Cornish WIs. They were helped by the County Council Planning Department in organising the sorting, packing and handing out to the 80 WIs who ordered them. Planting the trees in specially allocated sites, they became a source of interest for the members with smiles a plenty for the WI photo album. Admiration for the CFWI tree planting scheme was expressed in a letter from the “Men of Trees Society”. Those WIs that planted 10 trees received a certificate and those that planted more than 50 received an Award of Merit, plus a special presentation to CFWI for organising the scheme.

Litter picking is yet another of those irksome jobs that the WI has undertaken through the decades to keep our incomparable county looking cared for. At every opportunity the valiant members have sallied forth removing litter from our green verges and sea shores. There is an excellent piece of information in the May issue of County News explaining the connection between CFWI and Clean Cornwall, with up and coming registered litter picks with this organisation. There certainly seems to be more litter in 2021 than in 1973.

County News now has a Green Corner feature each month, and this month is featuring an article on bees, one of our most recent successful NFWI resolutions, with World Bee Day being celebrated on 20 May.

There is encouraging news regarding the Floral Art and Gardening Sub-committee. Many people have turned to gardening in the lockdown, so all those packets of seeds sown earlier in the year will now be converted to floral works of art. There are several events in the calendar of interest. The first rescheduled event is being held at Chy Noweth an Conteth on Monday 21 June, and is entitled “Winning Ways with Flowers”. Angela Hyland is conducting this inspiring floral art workshop for those members who feel they would like progress in this engaging activity.

The second rescheduled event, also with Angela Hyland, is “Back to Basics” on Monday 19 July, at Chy Noweth an Conteth. This event will show members how to create a beautiful floral exhibit without using floral foam or other artificial material. These two events will give encouragement to members that we are getting back to normal with our excellent educational events percolating back on the agenda.

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