When and where we meet:

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Get in touch to join in now without commitment.

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Every 2nd Monday of the month at 7.30pm in the Memorial Hall,

Leigh on Mendip

Visitors welcome!

For more details contact Caroline Harris
01373 812889

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Leigh on Mendip Community Coffee Mornings - Suspended for the time being.

1st Monday of the month in the Memorial Hall from 9.45 to 10.45am.

Come along for a coffee and a chat! Everyone welcome.



Wednesday, 27 July 2022

 

Still mindful of the rising Covid numbers we were able to have all the windows and doors open to keep us cool for our July meeting in the Hall!  A number of people were away for various reasons so thank you to those members who stepped in at the last minute to run the meeting.  Our speaker was Miriam Cheall from the Medical Detection Dogs Charity.  This is a relatively new Charity based in Milton Keynes and relies mainly on public donations to continue its life-saving work, though recently has received a Government grant.  Medical Detection Dogs are trained to support people with life-threatening health conditions and often save their lives on a daily basis.  We heard a very heart-warming story from a young girl who has now been able to continue her University course.  The Bio Detection Dogs are trained to detect even the tiniest smells associated with diseases like cancer, Parkinsons, Covid-19 and bacterial infections.  The pioneering work could lead to dogs playing an important role in screening diseases and improving patient care in hospitals.  They work in conjunction with NHS Trusts and oncologists, scientists and Universities, both in the UK and internationally.


July this year saw the Village Fair – as we had all been busy with Jubilee Celebrations in June.  WI ran the Tombola Stall – and members were also involved in other various ways.  The weather was perfect and thank you to all those who worked so hard.



Our sub groups are proving popular with members.  The first walking date was Saturday 2 July.  Turned out to be rather wet but that didn't deter a hardy few who returned in time for a welcome coffee at The Bell!  Next walk is on Saturday 6 August, 11am from the Hall.


Back in February our speaker was Bex Band - a very inspiring young woman who lives locally and has set up an organisation "Love Her Wild" for women to have the encouragement and friendship to challenge themselves for adventures. 


Held over from 2020 she organised an "End2End" Hiking Relay from Lands End to John o'Groats.  One of our members took part in a local section from Blackford to Sandford - just a mere 9 miles from the total of 1260 miles!!  Each person who took part held the baton for part of their journey.

In August we will be having our President's Evening on Monday 8th and are hoping for fine weather as we shall be up on the Recreational Field.  Start time is from 6pm.  Refreshments based around cheese with wine and soft drinks will be provided.  Please bring a chair if easy to do so. 

The next meeting in the Hall will be on Monday 12 September with a talk from a Wildlife Photographer.

In October there will be a Programme Planning Meeting.  It would be lovely if some members could also attend and help the Committee to plan events from January 2023 to March 2024.  We would also appreciate any input on Speakers, Demonstrations or Activities you would like to see included. 

Enjoy the Summer!

 


 

Friday, 24 June 2022

JUNE

 


The start of June was, of course, marked for us all in the Country with the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.  All WI Institutes had been asked if they would like to make a card which would be collected and sent together to the Queen.  

Our very own talented Eddie made a beautiful card.  And Karen, one of our gifted craft ladies, made two adorable Rabbits which were part of our 'Games Table' for the Village Picnic on the Sunday of the celebrations.  

It was "Guess the Name" of the Royal!  We also did a Treasure Hunt with a plan of Buckingham Palace as to where the treasure was buried. 

Village organisations had been asked to give an item to be put into the Time Capsule, now buried on the Rec.  Eddie made a beautiful green heart, which is a symbol for "Show The Love" for everything we want to protect from the worst impacts of climate change.  We want to see a safer, greener future for generations to come.  Fortunately, the weather held and the rain came just as everything had been packed away.  

But we had sunshine for other village events that weekend.  Some of us joined in the planting of the Jubilee tree and the unveiling of the bench by Shelagh.  A lovely community atmosphere.  Thank you to all those in the village who had worked hard to make the weekend a success.

Later in the month some of us gathered in the Memorial Hall to watch the live-streamed NFWI AGM, from Liverpool.  The Resolution (Women and Girls with ASD & ADHD - under-identified, under-diagnosed, misdiagnosed, under-supported) was discussed and the case put forward to consider the pros and cons.  The result was a nearly unanimous vote in favour of the resolution being taken forward.  It was also wonderful to witness the wide variety of amazing women, speaking on the charities and topics that drive them. Very uplifting too, to acknowledge the solid charity work and campaigning that forms the base of the WI organization. We learnt that not all members are talented in cookery and craft skills but this does not matter.  We are all unique and offer our own talents.  The session finished with a truly engaging and heartwarming talk from Sarah Clarke. Lady Usher of The Black Rod and ex chief of Wimbledon Lawn tennis Club. Quite a character and CV!

This month our speaker was Norton Asbury, brother to one of our members. He is an Art Expert, educated at The Courtauld Institute and now affiliated with The National Gallery in Trafalgar Square. His talk was entitled ‘Art for the Nation’ and took us through a span of some of the Gallery’s key works of Art.  It was a glorious, behind the scenes, telling of the significant social periods and how the major artists were tied into them.  He took us from the 13th Century, with an exquisite miniature icon, through the best of the Italian Masters to the European Court Painters, English and Dutch Rural Society Painters and up to the end of the 19th Century with the Key French Impressionists. All brought to life with compelling back stories and told with great warmth and humor!  Enjoyed by All!

Our Sub-Groups are going strong.  We had our first outdoor T’ai Chi session of the year. Even better surrounded by nature.  We are also adding a monthly Walking Group, a good way to be outdoors in good company!

Next Month, our guest will be Miriam Cheal, speaking about Medical Detection Dogs, giving us an insight as to how these marvellous dogs are trained and what they are able to do. Should be fascinating.

The Village Fair is being held on Saturday 16 July.  The WI are running the Tombola Stall and as such are currently gathering as many prizes as possible. Donations from all Villagers will be gratefully received.  If you have anything you’d like to donate, please let us know. You can deliver to: 3, The Old Sawmills or 7, Apple Meadow View or phone Mary on 812415 - Ideally by Wednesday 13th July. Many thanks.

Finally, just to mention that our president, Caroline, successfully completed an abseil down the side of Wells Cathedral last Month. 

Very brave indeed! She is collecting for her charity S.O.S Africa, specifically Education for Children living in the Townships in South Africa. Extremely worthy!  Well done Caroline!

Denman Courses are still available on-line and are now offering pre-recorded sessions for those who can’t attend at the time. They are open to all at just £5 per session and offer a huge variety of creative and educational subjects. Well worth taking a look.

https://www.denman.org.uk/whats-on

If there are any ladies in the Village who would like to join in, get to know others and meet us, you are very welcome to come along to our monthly meetings. Second Monday of each month, in the Memorial Hall from 8pm. No commitment! Contact Caroline on 812889.


Tuesday, 31 May 2022

MAY

 



Welcome to the merry month of May. The month when, ‘All Things Seem Possible’. The month when we feel the full force of Spring in all its beauty and the prospect of the coming Summer. Here at the WI, we’re all looking forward to more seasonal, outdoor activities, especially resuming our picnic gatherings.

At the meeting in May we held our AGM.  Caroline was voted for and kindly agreed to continue as our President.  The rest of the Committee are also willing to stand for another year.  Thank you to Barbara for conducting the voting system.

We also discussed our yearly Resolution. We unanimously agreed to support the motion of Women & Girls with ASD & ADHD: Under-identified, Under-diagnosed, Misdiagnosed & Under-supported. A condition which, for many, has devastating life- long consequences when not detected early. Two of our members read out a very moving testimony about a young woman’s experiences, both before and after diagnoses. We all agreed that this is a very worthwhile motion and support the NFWI to call on the Government and Funding Bodies to fund research into the female presentation of this condition and for action to be taken to improve the diagnosis and to ensure that they are better equipped to manage their lives and do not suffer in silence.  Mary will be our delegate for the AGM to be held in Liverpool.  We will not be attending in person but have organised for our members to come to a virtual presentation in our Village Hall on Saturday 11 June.

We finished the meeting with a very jolly Photo Quiz. Childhood photographs to be matched with a list of our names. Lots of laughs and many mistakes. Out of the 21 entries, 8 was the highest score! Have we all changed that much?!

Our Sub-Groups are developing and growing. It’s a great opportunity for us all to socialize in different ways and pursue the things that interest us.  Our new Book Club started last month with a first meeting to discuss the book, again in The Bell. Great to hear other’s opinions. And finally our newest activity, Line Dancing with Rosita in the Hall. Great fun and happily tailored to suit all abilities!

Next month’s meeting together will be particularly pleasurable for us Art Lovers. We have art expert, Norton Asbury coming along to give us a ‘virtual’ tour of the National Gallery Collections – ‘Art for the Nation’.



 

Thursday, 28 April 2022

APRIL


With the gentle month of April upon us, gardens, greenhouses, allotments, fields and woods, are all starting to look more green and hopeful.  It is also wonderful to have the extra daylight hour and be able to turn to more outdoor activities and recreations.

At our meeting this month we enjoyed an evening of learning to Line Dance.  A good number of us donned our Cowboy Boots and Check Shirts and took to the floor, accompanied by Dolly Parton. Great fun!  Huge thanks to Rosita, for her patience, encouragement and wonderful choice of music!

Each year The NFWI will vote on a Resolution. The aim being to get behind and fully support a cause for Women. This year, the vote was for Girls and Women who struggle with undiagnosed ASD & ADHD. Apparently, this is a very common occurrence, with long term, devastating results. We had the opportunity recently, to be part of a live discussion. Chaired by Nicky Amos (Somerset and National Trustee). The opportunity to understand and gain knowledge is very rewarding, especially for a very worthwhile cause. 

As an organization, we are affiliated with and support many charities.  One is the ACWW (Associated Country Women of the World) - https://acww.org.uk/.  We organised a local walk on Saturday 23 April.  Six members met up at the hall to walk in solidarity with other women world-wide. The weather was dull but dry and many had to remove a layer as the day suddenly brightened. It was agreed to split into 2 groups, those doing the Quarry bund and those doing a flatter walk in the village.  

Despite several stops to chat with villagers the flat group were back first to pop the kettle on and prepare the array of delicious homemade cakes on offer. Another lady joined us at the hall and we all enjoyed a lovely long chat remembering villagers from decades back and discovering connections between people.  All in all a lovely afternoon of fresh air, exercise and friendship and £29 was collected for ACWW projects.

A key aim and principle for us, is being part of a community. Promoting and organising events in order to enjoy time together. Finding educational and interesting pastimes that stretch us in many ways.  We will soon be starting a Book Club.  A great way to learn about each other's tastes and opinions.  Our twice monthly Craft Group is growing. So much so that we’re perhaps looking at hiring the Hall on a regular basis. We work on our own projects, everything from knitting, sewing, drawing, quilt making and embroidery. We can learn from each other and it’s been great to have some expert help and advice on hand!  There is too, our weekly Tai Chi class.  A wonderful way to pass an hour, losing oneself in slow, meditative breathing and movement.

The WI will be participating in the Village Celebrations for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.  A special project was launched for members to knit a "Winnie" corgi to hide in our local community for others to find, keep or donate.  Caroline (after a certain amount of unpicking and starting again!) has made this great little chap.

Now that Covid restrictions are all but lifted, we are resuming our Monthly Lunches in the Bell Inn. Open to all members. A chance to catch up and enjoy good food and company.

On 9 May we will hold our AGM and go through the final outcome of the chosen Resolution (Women and Girls with ASD & ADHD).  For levity, we are also holding a quiz with photos of us all as small children, to see who can spot who!

Denman Courses are still available on-line and are now offering some pre-recorded sessions for those who can’t attend at the time. They are open to all at just £5 per session and offer a huge variety of creative and educational subjects. Well worth taking a look.

https://www.denman.org.uk/whats-on



 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, 24 April 2022

LOM WI members answered the call “Ladies…… we need your support”

 

 

Members were asked to bring along any used or new bras they no longer needed to donate to this worthwhile charity, funding research in the UK and helping ladies in Africa.

https://www.againstbreastcancer.org.uk/recycling/bra-recycling 

This bra recycling scheme takes your unwanted or unloved bras and through our network of bra banks raises vital funds for pioneering breast cancer research.

The same bras also help to support small businesses in developing countries in Africa and around the world. Together with our recycling partners, our textile recovery project prevents these bras going into landfill before giving them a new lease of life in countries such as Togo, Ghana and Kenya, where bras remain expensive to produce locally.

Successful ventures like this provide an income for families in developing countries whilst providing employment for people living in the UK. For every tonne of bras collected, Against Breast Cancer receives £700 to fund our research. With over 30 million women in the UK you could really help make a difference!

A total of 41 bras were donated by us and our families creating a novel sort of WI logo!



Many thanks to everyone who donated.