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WI - May/June 2018

At our meeting on 10th May 2018 Carolyn, our President, was very pleased to welcome three new members, Penny, Sarah and Claire to our WI.  The normal business was followed by the AGM.  This included a presentation from Helen, our Correspondence Secretary, of this year’s choice of resolutions and our subsequent voting.  We were unanimously in favour of the resolution beginning, ‘Mental Health Matters’.  Sally, our Treasurer, presented the annual Financial Statement.  Helen reviewed the many good meetings and events that have taken place during 2017/18, including our very highly thought of 82nd Birthday Party.   Our group is famous for the delicious food on these occasions.  Carolyn gave much well-deserved praise to all the members of the Committee,  which, as well as the above mentioned, includes Debbie, Barbara, Carol, and Sharon and fortunately they have all been willing to stay on for another year and were all re-elected along with our President, Carolyn, who works very hard on our behalf.  When Carolyn asked if anyone else wanted to join the Committee, our newcomer, Penny, kindly volunteered.  I am sure we are extremely grateful to all these Committee members.  Carolyn thanked other non-committee members for their help and all members for the cake and tea/coffee making etc. over the year.  Barbara has arranged an interesting and varied programme of speakers for 2018/19 and we have a lot to look forward to from September. 

There are many opportunities outside of monthly meetings such as quizzes and skittles competitions, theatre visits, invitations to join the Gardening Club’s outings and meetings, and the occasional organised walks to see snowdrops and bluebells, for instance.  In August we are meeting at ‘Old Barn Stores’ for coffee and cake and Sharon has organised a walk on another occasion.   

On the evening of June 14th, 2018 Barbara had organised our visit to the Waitrose store in Basingstoke.  After drinks and a chat, the Team Manager of the building, Adam Darney, gave us a facts and figures talk about the many on-going initiatives and concepts Waitrose has put into action or has in the pipeline, to help reduce packaging of goods for sale and in particular to completely eradicate single-use plastic. By the end of this year, our Waitrose store will have reduced the amount of plastic they use by 200 tons and the cardboard they use by 600 tons.  Adam says this is a tremendous lead over other stores and he emphasises that Waitrose stores are very keen to listen to what their customers are saying and are making lots of environmental improvements.  For instance, they have reduced sugar content in their own brand items, their delivery lorries have switched fuel types to lessen the environmental damage of the emissions, by 2025 there will be no single-use plastics on their own brands and instead, they will use, biodegradable, multi-use materials.  They will not sell plastic straws from September.  By the end of November they will not provide customers with disposable cups, so you must bring your own drinking vessel.  The money they save on 52 million cups per year will go to local charities.  They put pressure on suppliers to improve their packaging too. The members of staff must take their own cups to use at water filters.  Their green token scheme raises £1000 a month for local charities and daily leftover food goes to local charities. There is a BUPA check your health machine.  We came away very impressed by the great efforts that Waitrose is making to improve the overwhelming problems that waste packaging, food waste and plastics are creating.  It was an inspiring talk.

Next meetings:

July 12th, 2018 – Our annual Garden Meeting to be held in the garden of Ann and Keith.  This is a social evening to enjoy strawberries and cream and a chat.  Please bring a chair, bowl, spoon and glass.

August 2018 – Summer break.  No meeting, but a walk has been organised by Sharon for members, guests, husbands and partners on18th August.  Details will be on the monthly email.

September 13th, 2018 - Petra Jewellery- an independent jeweller with 30 years experience.

October 11th, 2018 – Cantering Through a Funny Life – from Betjeman to Bardot – Susan Howe has been Sir John Betjeman’s PA, Brigitte Bardot’s ex’s cook and a Blue Badge London Guide between tracking tigers in the jungles of India and avoiding being eaten! Now she is coming to talk to us!

Why not come along as a guest, a potential new member, or as someone who is interested in listening to a particular speaker?  We are a cheerful group of ladies and we do have fun!  If anyone would like to come along or would like more details please contact Carolyn Brown


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