Spent the morning running round doing family stuff and emailing Trustees about bits and bobs. It’s only when you are going away for a few days that you remember how much there is to do. Poor Sarah in the office, a load of emails and then phone calls as the time to depart got ever closer!
Then we were off to Denman……….. my sister and I were going to make cheese with the lovely Louise Talbot.
On arrival it was great to see two more Warwickshire members – coincidentally also on the Cheese course. Fab!
After tea we got the first cheese started. Gallons of milk and cream! Then off to the Bar for a quick lemonade before bed!
It seemed very strange getting up and out to go to a Board Meeting today!
We decided to trial a Saturday meeting as we are aware that weekday meetings might put off potential Trustees. (and we are also trialling an evening meeting soon. Watch this space!)
We were delighted to welcome visitors from The Revel and Harbury WIs and hope that they found the day useful. We did loads of business as we were finalising flyers and budgets for events and outings in July. I am thrilled to bits because we are definitely on for another Grand Day Out on July 29th! Thanks to Mr Johnson for giving us the coaches at a very reasonable rate and for enabling us to have multiple pick-ups across the Federation. We are hoping that as many members as possible will join us for a Day Out to WINCHESTER. A great opportunity for smaller WIs to take part in an outing without incurring a major financial risk See you all there!
We also finalised a lot of details for the Annual Federation Meeting on March 18th at Dallas Burston Polo Ground. It is looking good, with a packed agenda and SIMON KING , the acclaimed wildlife photographer as Keynote speaker in the afternoon. We also have all kinds of special speakers and entertainment which celebrate Inspiring Women! So look forward to seeing you all there !
What a fantastic evening I had at the Platinum Celebration Dinner held by Curdworth WI tonight. Great food, good company- lots of WI friends I have made over the years were there. Fab to see so many great people! The evening went with a real swing, and the entertainment! Well! What a fantastic magician- Sue Myhill , our lovely Treasurer is still checking her watch to see if it really is hers – we all thought it was lost forever! Lynne Stubbings had a great time too as Wishaw have a long-standing friendship with Curdworth. Brilliant night!
Off I went on the train, all the way to Dundee! Best bib and tucker, WI badge highly polished.! I won an invitation to the 150th Birthday Celebration of The People’s Friend Magazine! What a bash! Everyone I met was interested to find out about the WI so those of you who have met me can imagine that I was in my element on that one! Dundee was lovely. Really enjoyable time…… and six hours on the train gave me so much time to prepare for the Board meeting! Bonus!
Drove to Warwick early today and met the Officers ( Veronica, Sue and Christine) at the Hall at Budbrooke. The Hall is new to us and we are using it as a venue for Presidents Day on 28th January so we needed to check it out. Lovely sunny morning and the Hall looks great.
Back over to the Office for a Staff meeting with Sarah and Kathy. We get together every month or so to see how things are going and make sure we haven’t forgotten anything important! It’s also a great opportunity for a catch up!
Then we got down to the graft of the Office and Finance group- led by Sue ,our Treasurer we grappled with various quotes, reviews and plans. It was great to be joined by Heather Howell for this meeting, as she co-ordinates Sales and merchandise for us. We went through loads of paperwork and made a series of recommendations which will be taken to the Board of Trustees later in the week.
The Centenary Concert Group also had a meeting today! Lots of plans for a splendid evening on 23rd February. Hope you have all got your tickets!
Have spent today catching up on emails and getting ready for meetings at Federation House on Tuesday. Sue Myhill, our lovely County Treasurer has been working hard preparing budgets for various events which we have in the pipeline for our members to enjoy later in the year. She has also prepared quite a long agenda for the Officers to discuss on Tuesday at the Office and Finance Meeting. (This committee does quite a lot of the preparatory legwork for the Board meetings)
Looking forward to seeing Sarah and Kathy in the Office on Tuesday- hope they both had a great Christmas break……
Also very grateful thanks to Veronica, Vice Chair who went into the Office just before Christmas to check over the re-decoration works so that the contractors could be paid before Christmas. She saved me doing a good two hour round trip for which I am very thankful.
Happy New Year to you all! Had a fab time away in the wilds of Ardnamurchan, very cold but beautiful as always. The cottage we stay in is literally at the end of the road and has no phone signal or internet. We had to use the more old fashioned means of communication.
Today is my last day of blogging until the New Year as I am going to settle down for a nice family Christmas and then spend the New Year in the wilds of Scotland. It’s been a really interesting and exciting year for me as Chair and I do hope that next year will be even better as we set off into the second century of the Warwickshire Federation.
Have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year
Had to polish up my Badge and find out my best coat tonight as I was representing the Federation at the Carol Service held by The Lord Lieutenant and the High Sheriff of Warwickshire. What a lovely traditional service with a lovely choir and brass band. Smashing evening.
After a very busy weekend of family and village Christmasssy events it was lovely to get into the Federation Office today to see the decorators hard at work and Sarah and Kathy almost ready with the mailing!
Met up with the Officers to check out the Hall ready for Presidents Day at the end of January and then off to Dallas Burston to review the plans for the Annual Federation Meeting on March 18th with Christie. Then we had a little lunch party for ourselves at The Millstone Hare. Nice way to end a very busy day for the Federation!
Went to the Centenary celebration for Dunchurch and Thurlaston WI tonight! Amazing! A real 1918 them throughout! Traditional fare, a 1918 raffle and serving ladies who looked like they had stepped out of Downton Abbey! Brilliant evening. It was great to see Lynne Stubbings, our national chair there too!
You would hardly recognise Federation House today! The walls are bare and everything has been moved and packed away ready for the decorators to spruce it up! It looks really odd , but when you see the spaces where the pictures and hangings were then you really do know it was time for re-decoration!
Board meeting day today. Trustees were full of the Christmas spirit! We got a lot of serious business done today- finalising plans for Presidents day on January 28th, and making sure we are sorted for the Centenary Concert on Feb 23rd as well as making arrangements for the Annual federation meeting in March. We also approved plans , budgets and flyers for events in May 2019 which will be making their way to members in the mailing!
I am so grateful to everyone on the Board who work so hard to support the Federation. They are brilliant!
Paperwork day today. I like to be all prepared for the Board meeting so I was double checking all the paperwork and making sure it was all lodged on the new secure area of the website! We are well and truly on our way to becoming a paperless Board now!
Well, what a lovely evening I spent tonight with members of Bilton WI celebrating their Centenary! Fabulous food, tinsel everywhere lots of fun and laughter. It was titled Sparkle Evening and it certainly lived up to the name! Well done, Bilton for celebrating in style.
I was also privileged to meet Shirley Brookes who has been a WI Member for an amazing 66 years!
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.