President, Elaine Barker, wished everyone a Happy New Year and gave a particularly warm welcome to the speaker, Maralyn Jenkins, who was ably assisted by her two very well-behaved companions, Chihuahua’s Jumbo and Nellie.
All three are volunteers with Pets as Therapy, which is a community based Animal Assisted Therapy charity operating across the length and breadth of the UK. It was founded in 1983 by Lesley Scott-Ordish and is the largest of its kind in Europe Maralyn now also “vets” new owners and dogs who wish to join.
Thousands of people of all ages benefit every week from the visits provided by the PAT Volunteer Teams, who visit residential homes, hospitals, hospices, schools, day care centres and prisons. Their newest project is helping to improve literacy in children by developing their confidence, interest and enjoyment in reading through their read2dogs scheme.
Maralyn said that it was a most rewarding experience seeing the positive response that “man’s best friend” can make to many different people in a great variety of circumstances. There are now approximately 5,000 dogs and 100 cats (plus owners) volunteering and it was inspirational to hear all the different stories.
After a delicious tea and chat, the meeting continued. Jill Morton was warmly welcomed back after a long absence through injury. Vanessa has resigned from the Committee and thanks were given for all her contributions. Best wishes were sent to Christine, who is returning to the Committee, but unfortunately was unable to attend as she had slipped on ice and broken her wrist.
Everyone had a lovely time at the Christmas party with lively entertainment and a delicious meal, again provided by Morreen, who is now retiring. Elaine thanked all those who had helped set up the tables with decorations. Suggestions were requested for replacement caterers for this year’s Xmas party.
A thank you letter had been received from The Pepper Foundation for the donation of £680 given to them last November. It was agreed that the charity for the present year is to be in memory of Doreen White, whose daughter suggested The Small Project Scannappeal Scheme, which raises funds to purchase life-saving equipment for Amersham, Stoke Mandeville, Wycombe and Community Hospitals.
There are still spaces in the two Board Game sessions which are held in members’ homes. On 7th March the BFWI are holding their now annual Investigation and Discovery Day in Aylesbury from 10-4pm. This is always an excellent science themed event. Tickets are £14.
One free Delegate ticket is available for the BFWI Annual Council Meeting in Aylesbury from 10.30-4pm on 18th April. In the evening of 18th April, Hyde Heath are hosting the Spring Beechwood Meeting at 7.45pm. Also, it is our turn to send a Link Delegate to the NFWI Annual meeting which is being held in Cardiff on 5th and 6th June. Ticket, travel on the Federation coach and overnight accommodation is free.
Elaine introduced the five shortlisted Resolutions proposed for the 2018 NFWI Annual Meeting, then Members selected individual Resolutions which will go forward to the Annual Meeting in June.
The next meeting will be at 8pm on 8th February when Sandra Telford will talk about “Colour, Style & Confidence”. The competition will be “Something colourful
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On a very cold evening a warm welcome was given to all members by President, Elaine Barker. Several people were unable to attend, and thanks were given to Mary Collins and Gillian O’Flynn for their help.
Details of fund raising events for both the Scannappeal Charity and the Institutes’ funds were given. The Charity Evening Ramble and Supper will be on 4th July, the Summer barbeque will be on 9 August, and Joyce Guthrie has very kindly agreed to hold a tea party at her home in the early summer. Other fundraising ideas would be gratefully received.
A free delegate’s ticket for the BFWI Annual Council Meeting in Aylesbury on 18th April is still available. Avril Sherratt will be our delegate attending the WI Annual Meeting in Cardiff on 5/6 June.
Volunteers to make up a team of three were requested for the BFWI Quiz on 27th March being held in Prestwood.
National Women’s Day will be on Sunday 11th March in Maidenhead to discuss “What have we achieved”.
The Beechwood Group Spring meeting is being held in Hyde Heath at 7.45 for 8pm on 18th April when Patricia Purcell will talk about “Tales of the Opera”.
Sue Flint, who trains Hearing Dogs, thanked everyone for saving stamps over several years for the Charity, but they are now no longer collecting them.
Sandra Telford then gave a talk on “Colour, Style & Confidence”. After a career in sales and marketing, including helping at the London Olympics in 2012, she took voluntary redundancy but after a year was looking for a new challenge.
A friend gave her a personal colour and style consultation and asked if she would be interested in a position with the organisation, Colour me Beautiful, who are the leading colour consultants in Europe and are also worldwide. Sandra is now an award-winning consultant.
Wearing the right styles and colours gives everyone, including men, confidence. It was most enlightening when Sandra selected various members to show which colour ranges flattered them most. She also gave advice about what styles suited different shaped people.
The next meeting will be at 8pm on 8th March when Tony Mealing will talk about “Punch and Judy”. The competition will be “A Puppet”.
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