Off to Federation House really early today. Loaded the car with food and puddings.
Met with the Membership and Promotions Team first and made all kinds of plans for helping new Committees and Officers to run and promote their WIs. Then it was the GRAND LUNCH! How fabulous to see all of our team together enjoying a social time together. They work so hard for us all and it was great to see them, the Trustees and Sarah and Kathy from the Office – who actually make everything happen!
Then we had a quick meeting of the Digital Strategy Team where we planned several events for helping members to gain digital skills and planned the next stage of development for the Warwickshire website.
That’s what my husband said, when he looked in the fridge this morning! I was just bombing off down to the local schools to make Christmas puddings in Assembly with the kids – it’s a tradition started when I retired! So he was left with dire warnings about NOT touching any of the puddings as the ladies from the WI would need them!
Did the assemblies, which was great fun and then came back and piped whipped cream everywhere with gay abandon. Even did a pud for the long – suffering husband.
Then of to The Polesworth Group Carol Service which was at Mancetter this year, lovely to spend time with all of my friends from the local WIs . Splendid evening all round.
My favourite sort of day. It’s the special lunch for all the ladies who work so hard on the Sub-Committees of the Federation on Tuesday and I made a start on the puddings today ! These ladies are our real unsung heroes, beavering away putting on a huge range of events for members across the year….. there are so many I hardly know where to start!
• Creative Activities organise workshops, Literary Lunches and Poetry Mornings
• Leisure Activities provide the Darts tournament, walks, canoeing and the Treasure Hunt
• Public Affairs provide the Serious Science evenings and Women Reaching Women days
• Membership and Promotions provide a range of supporting services for existing WIs as well as offering advice and opening new WIs.
Paperwork day today! Getting ready for the Digital Strategy meeting next week and starting on the Board agenda for the following week. It’s “good for the soul” as I am heard to say many times every week!
Another absolutely brilliant day. As Trustees we decided to show our support for Denman by organising a Denman Day Out for the Board and friends! The cookery demonstration by Kelly was absolutely brilliant. We are all making fabulous meringues, spiced nuts and Stilton biscuits by the bucket load. I know what all my friends are getting for Christmas! Lovely day again. Great lunch, super tour of Denman and then a cream tea before we set off home. Fabulous!
Lots of Christmas cooking today. Trying to get ahead!
Also packed the car ready for the Christmas Celebration tomorrow. Big panic to find the Christmas CDs which we had put away somewhere very safe last year!
Boxes of crackers for 80- check,
CD player – check,
Tinsel – check,
Table decoration- check!
As well as being Chair of the Federation I am also a Trustee for an educational charity so today I went to London with over 500 representatives from large and small charities to be updated on Safeguarding legislation. The information I gained about safeguarding children and vulnerable adults will be fed back to the Board of Trustees so that we are all kept up to date with information from the Charity Commission.
Long but rewarding day today at Federation House. Spent the morning with the Leisure Activities Committee reviewing and planning events for members . The Great Fire of Warwick talks and the Chelsea trip both received high praise from members which is very satisfying!
The Committee have all kinds of plans in hand including Nordic Walking and (OMG!) Dragon Boat Racing. Look out everybody, sounds like huge fun to me!
This was followed by a fantastic pre -Christmas Lunch with the Creative Activities Committee. Once a year leisure and Creative have a get together. Fab lunch!
Then it was the turn of Creative activities. The recent Warhorse event was extremely popular and the February date is widely expected to be a complete sell-out too. There are masses of events coming up for craft minded people as well as the Poetry Mornings, a watercolour workshop, Literary Lunch and a Celebration of the life of George Elliott. It’s all go on this Committee too!
How absolutely brilliant to see almost 400 members of the Warwickshire Federation at St Mary’s, Warwick this morning for our Centenary Celebration! Cold and crisp morning – but being welcomed by those bells as you crossed the Square was so heartwarming! A great range of poems and readings by members from right across the county AND a great finale by our very own Lynne Stubbings, National Chair. Brilliant.
In true WI fashion I started on the grand Christmas Bake-Up today …
mince pies by the dozen for various events at the WI, the Federation and home. Bakewell Tarts and a few scones. Really enjoyed the afternoon. Something satisfying about a job well done!
Went to the IXL Centre at Dallas Burston Polo Ground today to see the Centre set up for a conference. The Hall is huge! Fabulous lighting, great IT support and VERY clean toilets ( us WI ladies know how important this is!)
Loads of parking and very helpful staff. Can’t wait for the Annual Federation Meeting on March 18th. Hoping for a great turnout and looking forward to seeing you all bringing in your contributions for the Homeless period charity. It was so popular when we did this a few years ago we thought we would do it again. A great cause!
Board meeting day!
I’m so pleased that our plan to be more open and accessible to our members is working. This is the second month where we have had an observer from one of our WIs present for the meeting. Wonder who will come next month?
Great start to the day with all the Trustees bringing their Friendship Flowers for World Kindness day.
After all the usual business, finances, risk register and our charitable status we happily discussed all the upcoming events. Including the Centenary Celebration in St Mary’s next Monday, Christmas Lunch , Presidents Day , the Centenary Concert and of course the AFM!
Great day. Brilliant Team. Well done!!
Well, that was an eye opener! Tracy from NFWI came to train some new IFEs for the Federation and to do a refresher for our current IFEs. I had NO IDEA how hard our Independent Financial Examiners work on our behalf. They deserve a medal!
It was a really interesting and informative day. More Succession planning… well done ,Sue ,Federation Treasurer for organising this for us. Brilliant!
OOOO! My favourite sort of day. Long meeting with Sue, our Federation Treasurer (Long Itchington WI) discussing the finalisation of the Federation Accounts, ready for next week’s Board meeting as well as the Charitable status of the Federation.
Great Public Affairs meeting today. Lovely to welcome Sue as an observer and potential committee member. I am delighted that Gillian, the Chair of PA is taking the Trustee emphasis on succession planning so seriously! Super report on the Resolutions process in London from Anita (Treacle Tarts WI) who attended the meeting at 104 on our behalf. Plans for the Serious Science lectures for 2019 organised by Jane ( Brinklow WI) are all in place. Outline plans for another Women reaching Women day with a focus on Water were discussed too. Action packed meeting….
The Officers then continued to meet, discussing and updating our Federation Risk Register- which sounds a bit tedious but is actually very, very important. Big sighs of relief, as we finally think it is ready to present to the Board of Trustees next week!
Great Staff meeting with Sarah and Kathy to make sure we are all organised, sorted and happy!
Sunday 4th November
Really enjoyed meeting colleagues from all over the country and making new friends over this Conference Weekend. Thought provoking and helpful. Thanks Lynne and the trustee Team for organising it!
Saturday 3rd November
What an interesting conference this is turning out to be. Great to able to talk to other Chairs and Treasurers from all over the country. Learnt a lot about inter – federation working, equality and diversity as well as thinking about WIs for the future!
Friday 2nd November
Great to be able to attend the WI National Council meeting this weekend. Sue Myhill, our Treasurer and I are representing the Federation and I was honoured to be asked to do the Welcome speech to all the delegates! Scary but proud moment.
We discussed a range of issues including finances and working together before a lovely meal.
Thursday 1st November
Absolutely thrilled to receive an email from Denman College saying that my photo has been selected for the Denman 2019 Calendar! What an honour!
Wednesday 31st October
What can I say? Tonight was the Polesworth Group Meeting complete with entertainment from each WI in the Group. Hilarious . Really enjoyed being part of the Newton Regis WI skit on the WI hierarchy!
Tuesday 30th October
Met with the Warwickshire judges this morning to review the Centenary Show which was held at Napton. We have lots of ideas for possible future events and everyone was very impressed with the way our members took part in the show. We also congratulated Vicky, Anita and Bev who have recently passed their national Judges exams. Brilliant news.
Monday 29th October
My goodness me, Gillian Crisp has been really busy. Today was the Digital Dabble Day organised by Gillian and the Digital Strategy Team . participants learnt how to use our very own Warwickshire WI website as well as MYWI. A good time was had by all!
Travelled down to the IXL Centre at Dallas Burston Polo Ground to discuss the IT needed for our AFM on March 18th next year. Easy to find, loads of parking and the BIGGEST room I have ever seen – we will fit 8oo members in easily so that everyone who wants to can listen to the great Simon King and be able to see all his photos thanks to the IT package which we are working on!
What an interesting day today was – travelled up to Staffordshire Federation Meeting with Heather Howell, fellow Trustee to be welcomed as honoured guests as they begin the start of their Centenary Year.
Brilliant day – key speaker was Paul Martin from Flog It. Very popular and lovely speaker.
What a fantastic afternoon. Peter Barratt was an amazing speaker. His story about his Great Grandmother Alice Hawkins was inspirational….. everyone in the room was thrilled to listen to him. Cream tea was fab, everything went really well.
Then it was off to the Anker group Meeting at Bulkington near Nuneaton. What a great Meeting! The Ladies of Bulkington WI did a superb job of entertaining us with a Pageant about the Centenary of Warwickshire Federation. I haven’t smiled so much for ages. Brilliant! The whole meeting was great. Super reports from the WIS, lovely refreshments and lots of friendly, enthusiastic WI members. Lovely evening!
Have had a brilliant time cooking today.
Made my Suffragette cakes , even though I say it myself they look pretty good! I also made some Vegan and Gluten free scones from a recipe I found on the internet. They turned out really well. So all ready for tomorrow’s Cream tea and Talk. Looking forward to working with the Trustee Team on this event!
Brilliant trip to Chelsea today – I wasn’t able to go but the ladies all had a fab time. Very difficult journey back though – a huge accident on the M40 saw the driver run out of driving hours. All credit to Johnsons Coaches for sending a relief driver straight away! All home safe by 11pm. Brilliant.
OOOO! What a lovely time I have had today. Inspired by the coming talk about Suffragette Alice Hawkins next week I decided to see if I could make some suffrage style cake decorations! I got out the food colourings and every cutter I possess and after several trials made some really quite passable rosettes in violet, green and white! Hmmm…… al I need to do is make 80 of them!
What a brilliant afternoon. The sun shone and we were treated to a fantastic afternoon tea by the members of our Leisure activities Committee in the wonderful ancient surroundings of the Great Hall in the Lord Leycester Hospital in the centre of Warwick. The talk on The Great Fire of Warwick by Dr Gillian White was fantastic- interesting and fascinating. She is an absolutely brilliant speaker. Well done…. Team Warwickshire WI!
Wednesday 10th October
The Great Fire of Warwick
What a treat we had this afternoon. The marvellous Dr Gillian White talking about the Great Fire of Warwick, (which was after the one in London but similarly devastating!) Lots of fun information, maps and pictures helped to bring the talk alive and we were all enthralled by the story. We met in the totally amazing, ancient Lord Leycester Hospital building, which miraculously survived said fire and sat down to being royally entertained to Afternoon Tea by the Leisure Activities Committee who had organised the whole splendid afternoon! Then we all had to find our cars – an excitement in it’s own way……. I kept being distracted by the buildings all over Warwick trying to work out which were new, which had survived the Fire and so on.
Tuesday 9th October
Oooooo, the excitement in the room!
Board Meeting today and we had a great big discussion about the plans for our Annual Meeting next March. We are moving to a great big new venue at Dallas Burston Polo Ground. So it’s all the same and all different! The three organising teams reported back on their progress so far. Logistics, IT and Sponsorship all had a great range of ideas. Brilliant. Excited to be able to seat 800 members in comfort with state of the art IT support. Lots of space for all our displays and competitions. No wonder there are trumpets on all the advertising and invitations!
We were delighted to welcome two members of Stockton WI as observers to the meeting today- part of our campaign to be transparent to our members about what and how we do things! It was great to see Kathy , our new Admin Assistant at the meeting too. Lots of business – all of our Trustees work very hard and are always up for the challenge. Great to be part of such a brilliant team!
Sun 7th October
Let them eat cake!
Spent a happy morning in the kitchen- baking for the Great Fire of Warwick talk on Wednesday! Afternoon Tea provided by The Leisure Activities Committee and Trustees. Hope they like the Bakewell Tarts and coffee walnut fancies! Really looking forward to hearing Gillian White speak!
Saturday 6th October
The show must go on.
Delighted to be asked to open the Tamworth Show today. WIs from Warwickshire and Staffordshire competing with all kinds of exhibits- the Co-operative classes were most impressive. I love the fact that neighbouring Federations are working together to put on this show. Well done to the organisers. Brilliant!
Thursday 4th October
Hey Ho, Hey Ho , it’s off to Liverpool we go!
Well, it was dark when I got up and drove off to Warwick via Alvecote and Mancetter to pick up WI friends who were joining us on the Public Affairs Trip to see the Terracotta Army! Brilliant day out. We started at the Museum in Port Sunlight to see the Chinese Collection with our fab Blue Badge Guide then found ourselves a very nice spot of lunch in Liverpool before heading off to the World Museum. Wow! Well worth the wait the Terracotta Warriors, horses and other memorabilia was absolutely fascinating. Great day out!
Tuesday 2nd October
Busy, Busy, Busy.
Over to the Office at Warwick for a Membership Sub-committee meeting where we discussed promotions and made plans for various workshops to help our officers run their own WIS effectively.
Then onto our Office and Finance Group where we consider all things financial in depth and make recommendations which go to the Board of Trustees- this process helps us to work efficiently (well, OK , that’s the aim!)
Then off home for about ten minutes before setting off to visit The Treacle Tarts WI at Nuneaton!
What fun! It was their AGM- great to see so much interest , they presented a BIG cheque to their own local charity – the Mary Anne Evans Hospice. All followed by fab refreshments and a great talk about unusual shoes.
Monday 1st October
OOOOOO! Lunch with David Archer
Being Chair of the Federation sometimes has unexpected treats! I got to sit with Tim Bentinck today at the Literary Lunch. ( AKA David Archer) Witty, amusing and totally charming. He spoke about his work as an actor and author as well as giving us an insight into his alter ego David Archer. All 110 members present thoroughly enjoyed their day. Brilliant. Well done Terry Barker for organising this feast for the gourmet radioheads amongst us!
A great promotional event at Stratford Leisure Centre. Aimed at the fifty plus age group there were lots of people demonstrating a great level of interest in what we do! I even got to speak on local radio. I’m still smiling at the presenter’s face when he asked for my favourite song…. I am sure he was expecting me to say Jerusalem…. he certainly wasn’t expecting Suffragette City by David Bowie!
Started off at Wroxall Abbey, sorting out the menu for our Lunch date with Dame Stella Rimington on April 8th 2019. Then off to Federation House to work on the Digital Strategy with our super Digital Team. Lots of ideas coming up in the next few months. A quick lunch and then onto the Creative Activities Sub-Committee where all kinds of plans are afoot for next year- everything from Watercolours to George Elliot and Agatha Christie!
Then I had to hot foot it over to Ashorne Village Hall to meet up with the lovely ladies from the Wellesbourne Group. Very interesting evening- great food, good company, lovely talk on fashion designers, all in all a super time!
I have spent the day stapling felt poppies onto boards to make our huge 1918-2018 signs for the base of the display in St Mary’s. The Trustees were all smiling as they said “we know you can’t sew but even you can do stapling!”
Great to see the members of our Leisure Committee today. They were so excited about the Kayaking event on the River Leam later that afternoon! Lots of amazing sporting events are on the planner now. Look out for Dragon Boat Racing next year!
Been at Federation House all day, helping to create the Poppy Display. We have thousands and thousands of hand crafted poppies made by members all over the County. They will be on display in St Mary’s, Warwick during October and November. Our display will be either side of the high altar and is looking great! Cant wait to see it in situ.
Interesting day today. Lovely to spend the day with Sarah, our Federation Administrator. We went to London to do the Social media training provided by NFWI. Very interesting and made us plan to do lots more on Facebook and Twitter to extend our reach. We think it will be Instagram next so watch this space.
Feeling totally inadequate tonight! Went to Mancetter WI which was absolutely great. They made me feel so very welcome – but their speaker was a really ace crafter and quilter. I am a fully paid up member of the “how do I sew a button on brigade!” What a lovely evening though, everyone was so keen and ready to join in with all the events they are doing!
Board of Trustees today. We are all so excited! We are moving the Annual Federation Meeting to a brand spanking new venue next March. So we are all out of our comfort zone and having to re-plan how we do every single aspect of the meeting. Look out the IXL Centre at Dallas Burston Polo Ground- the WI are coming! We are also having the wonderful Dame Stella Rimington to speak to us at a lunch next April.
We also did all the very necessary stuff which makes the Federation run – like budgets and strategic plans. Not quite as exciting as moving the AFM and talking about MI5 but still good to know we are on top of our game!