W.I. March 2019. Stradbroke W.I. Report. For our open meeting last month, we had an excellent turn out of thirty four members, and welcomed fourteen visitors. We began the evening with a rendition of Jerusalem. Thanks to our hostesses, Annie and Jennifer who provided delightful posies for members with March birthdays. We were then treated to a wonderful talk by Mark Mitchels on the life of Beatrix Potter. He began by reminding us that her books had been enjoyed by children for over 100 years, and that they were as popular today as they ever were, with a copy sold somewhere in the world every fifteen seconds. They have been translated into many languages, the second most popular being Japanese. Beatrix was brought up in an upper class Victorian household by a very remote mother, a father to whom she was very close, and a much adored governess. Her collection of pets was most likely a substitute for friends. Her father was a keen photographer and so her childhood and later life were well recorded in photographs. Her governess, Annie Carter, left to get married when Beatrix was nineteen, and her first book, Peter Rabbit began life as an illustrated letter to Annie’s son, who was her godson. In 1830, Beatrix bought a rabbit who she called Benjamin Bouncer, and used him as a model for a set of Christmas cards which she sold as a set “The Happy Pair”. She was to prove to have a good head for business. Her books were published by Frederick Warne and she developed a strong relationship with a director, Norman Warne, but sadly he died before they could be married. She had spent many childhood holidays in the Lake District and bought Hill Top Farm in Cumbria, finally managing to break away from her parents, and marrying William Heales in 1910. She became well known for her love and knowledge of farming and when she died, left her estate of fifteen farms to the National Trust, with the instruction that there was to be no hunting on the land. Mark’s talk was truly informative and entertaining, and Caroline gave a very appreciative vote of thanks. Our next meeting will be a Silent Auction on 11th April Gill then closed the meeting with a reminder that we will be holding our Soup and Cake Lunch on Saturday 6th April to donate to the Blossom Appeal, which is raising funds for a state-of-the-art breast care facility at the Ipswich hospital. Please support us by buying a ticket, which cost £6 each. Thank you
W.I. 14thFebruary 2019. Stradbroke W.I. Report. Valentine’s Day! It was gratifying to see how many members had abandoned their partners to spend Valentine’s evening with the W.I. Although one lady solved the problem by bringing hers with her. Lorraine had decorated her welcome table with roses and heart shaped candles; although sadly, even with the Fire Station next door, we were not permitted to light them. Thanks to our hostesses, Moyra and June, who came with colourful Primulas to give to members with February birthdays. Our first speaker was Annie Groves, who is the Project Officer for the Active Well-being Group. She spoke about the work that the group is currently carrying out in Stradbroke and Fressingfield. The project, which is council funded, will run for a year before moving on to other villages. The idea is to promote a more healthy lifestyle among people who are identified as needing support. GPs, practise nurses and other clinicians hold one-one assessment meetings with clients, where they chat about lifestyle, diet, alcohol consumption, smoking etc. They also look at BMI and mental wellbeing. From the assessment, advice is given. This can take the form of GP referral to the gym, trial sessions with the local exercise classes, such as Zumba and Pilates and walking groups. The aim is to see around seventy five people in the year. Contacts are made through social meeting places such as the coffee shop, library, churches etc. W.I. was highlighted as a valued organisation in the village for helping to combat loneliness, and for the various clubs such as Kurling and Circle Dancing. Dorothy then spoke about her own personal experience and the benefit she had gained from it. Julia Nowell from Stradbroke First Responders then gave a presentation on the use of the defibrillator; an appropriate topic for February 14th! Julia has been a first responder for twelve years and is one of four such volunteers in the village. She explained that, when someone collapses and 999 is called, First Responders are contacted, as well as the ambulance service. Being a rural community, ambulance response time can be hours rather than minutes, so, to have equipment and trained people in the community can literally be a life saver. There are eight AEDs (Automated External Defibrillator) in Stradbroke. Two with the First Responders, one each in Spar, the surgery, the swimming pool, outside the fire station, in the High School and in the telephone box in Church Street. Julia gave us a scenario, where we were a group in the community centre at 9pm, when someone collapsed on the floor. In this case, someone should call 999, someone begin CPR and someone collect a defibrillator. Julia pointed out that, although the nearest AED was outside the Fire Station, the pool would still be open, and a trained operator would be there, so that was the best option. She then demonstrated the use of the AED, first cutting or tearing away clothing to expose the chest. The machine, and she had brought a training one, is then switched on and talks one through its use. It was a bit of light relief when the machine, instead of recommending shocking, announced that it had a low battery! Julia also refreshed our memories on CPR, demonstrating on a dummy. Thirty compressions, in time to singing Nellie the Elephant (!) followed by two breaths, and repeat. Dorothy then gave a vote of thanks. Sausage rolls and heart shaped biscuits were then served by our hostesses; the raffle drawn and the evening closed. This was such a worthwhile presentation; we urge all groups in the village to take up the offer of a talk from First Responders, as publicised on the Stradbroke Online facebook page. Our 14th March meeting will be an open one, with all welcome to hear Mark Mitchel talk about Beatrix Potter.