Hot Topics July 2018

Fiona welcomed 70 members and 2 guests. Fiona reported on the lovely evening at the Surrey Centenary evening at Wisley and how amazing the displays of Pollinators were. She also had a slide show of the wonderful creations. One of Linda’s students from Taiwan also attended the event and heard all about what the WI do etc., and it transpired she very generously donated £300 to our WI.

Lullingstone: Fiona also had a few slides of the recent visit to Lullingstone and Gillian mentioned that she has received a letter from Tom Hart Dyke thanking us for the donation in remembrance of his father to go towards the restoration of Lullingstone church.

Bronzefield Bees WI (HMP and Young Offenders Institute) are having a craft fair and afternoon tea on 10th August at 2.30. Please let Wendy know by 1st August if you would like to attend as they need to have a list of full names of those attending prior to the event. An early arrival of 1.30 pm will be necessary to go through ID (passport) and registration etc. There are now a few prisons’ WI’s and studies have shown that those who have become members and attended were less likely to reoffend.

New Resolutions: Lys reported that next year’s AGM of NFWI is to be held on Wednesday, 5th June in Bournemouth and that now is the time to submit any resolutions you may like to put forward to be considered.

Surrey Autumn Federation Meeting will be on Monday 8th October from 10.00 to 4.00 at Dorking Halls. The main speaker is Tricia Stewart, the lady behind the “Calendar Girls”.

10th Anniversary: As you all know, at our October meeting we will be celebrating our 10th anniversary when we will be having a social evening with prosecco, nibbles etc. If anyone knows of a small group of musicians who could play chamber music during the evening, could they please let us know as we thought that would be a lovely addition.

Ecumenical service to celebrate the Centenary of Surrey Federation will be held at Guildford Cathedral at 2.00pm on Saturday 8th September. Everyone welcome to just go along and to the cream tea afterwards (£7).

Red Cross Charity Shop: We have been asked to mention if anyone has a few spare hours a week to help at the Red Cross Charity shop in Wimbledon Village as they are looking for volunteers

Sutton Countryside Walk: Liz has organised a walk for Friday August 3rd at 10.30 am to start from the Oaks Park Car Park. The walk is approximately 5 miles long, so we will be able to get refreshments at the end either in the Mayfield Lavender field or the Oaks Park Cafe. If you are interested in joining the party of walkers, please contact Liz for further details.

Social Events: Gillian mentioned there are still places for Batemans – Home of Rudyard Kipling, Wednesday, 5th September (£29.50), Watts Gallery, Friday, 19th October (£17) and Kew, Thursday, 22nd November, 6.00pm (£16.50) to see the Christmas lights,
Please let Gillian know as soon as possible if you would like a place.

Charity for 2019: We need to start thinking about our chosen charity for next year so if you have any suggestions can you please let us know. The only criterion is that it has to be local.

Craft Items: Thank you to everyone who has been busy making jumpers, dresses and toys to send out to Kenya. They will all be taken out by the scout leaders in September. There are 52 jumper and hat sets, 24 jumpers, 22 hats, 14 dresses, 2 shorts, 2 baby blankets, 6 bags and over 30 teddies and rabbits. Absolutely fantastic, thank you so much.

WI Campaigns: An interesting clip was shown at the National AGM in Cardiff in June about WI Campaigning and is available to watch on this link

Guest Speaker, Melanie Lewis gave a very interesting talk on Mindfulness and how it can benefit all our lives. Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we are doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what is going on around us. It is something we all naturally possess but need to practice on a daily basis for it to be readily available. Jon Kabat-Zinn, creator of MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) explains how mindfulness lights up parts of our brains that aren’t normally activated when we’re mindlessly running on autopilot. “Whenever you bring awareness to what you’re directly experiencing via your senses, or to your state of mind via your thoughts and emotions, you’re being mindful. And there’s growing research showing that when you train your brain to be mindful, you’re actually remodelling the physical structure of your brain.

Mindfulness can help you manage your wellbeing and mental health. It can enable you to:

✓ feel less overwhelmed
✓ improve your sleep quality
✓ positively change the way you think and feel about your experiences (especially stressful experiences)
✓ increase your ability to manage difficult situations
✓ make wiser choices
✓ reduce levels of anxiety
✓ reduce levels of depression
✓ reduce levels of stress
✓ reduce the amount you chew things over in your mind
✓ have greater self-compassion

Melanie talked us through a few exercises to experience the feeling of mindfulness which resulted in some positive feedback from members. She also offered other sessions that members could attend if interested. We certainly all went home feeling calmer and more relaxed.

Summer Fairs: Morden Family Funday was a success and a big thank you to everyone who provided produce, helped before the event and on the stall on Sunday, 22nd July. With everyone’s efforts we had a very good result on a very hot day and made over £500. Well done everyone. The Wimbledon and Putney Common Open Day on Sunday 9th September will be held before our next meeting. The same format will apply i.e. cakes etc., to Sacred Heart on Friday, 7th September and preserves etc., to Dulcie. For further information refer to email sent on 31st May or contact Veronica.

We wish you all a very enjoyable summer and look forward to seeing you 17th September when we will be having a booksale and jigsaw swap and our guest speaker will be William French – Butler to Royalty.