WI Newsletter – January 2009

New Year, New President and New Ideas – this was the message that Val Downing wished to convey at our Institute’s first meeting of 2009, she wishes to hear exactly what members want from their membership of the WI here in Abbotts Ann and is not afraid to try something different.

The meeting started on a more sombre note as members held a minute’s silence to remember Neilma Swann & Jill Liddell who had died in December & January respectively. Continuing with our custom, a donation of £50 will be sent to Denman College in their memory.

It is sometimes said that young people of today have so much, but we then heard about those who give so much. These are young people who for most of their young lives care for, or support members of their family, who may suffer from physical or learning difficulties, mental health issues, chronic illness or with problems of addiction.

Lorena Burlison from the Andover Young Carers Project spoke with such understanding about the needs of these children as she outlined how they are offered support in so many different ways, such as liaising with schools, a homework club and counselling, but most of all by giving them the opportunity to have fun and socialise. Our members could not believe their ears when Lorena set out in detail the timetable for “Elizabeth” aged 8, whose day starts at 5 a.m. Unbelievably, she is responsible for caring for her mother 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, as well as her younger brother, although she does have support from varied sources, to enable her to attend school.

The Andover Young Carers Project is an independent charity with the usual dependency on monies from the voluntary sector, so our members were delighted to be able to present them with a cheque for £110.10. This was money, donated by the members, which would otherwise have been spent on exchanging Christmas cards.

Earlier in the month, our walking group braved the near freezing temperatures to venture out around Amport, Quarley, East Cholderton before returning to the Amport Inn for a well-earned warming drink and lunch.

Diary Dates:

14 February – Walking Group 24 February – Book Club

26 February – Meeting 7.30 p.m. in the Village Hall : Arrive Alive with Dave Challoner0

2 March – Danebury Group Meeting0

5 March – Calendar Girls, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton2

4 March – HCFWI Council Meeting – Portsmouth2

6 March – Meeting at 7.30 p.m. in the Village Hall : Fun in Foreign Fields with Lynette Moss

As you can see, the title of our next speaker’s talk is Arrive Alive and I believe this is aimed at the drivers amongst us – but will be just as relevant to the remainder who will quite often be their passengers! So please arrive in time for a 7.30 p.m. start on 26 February at the Village Hall.

Sharon King