This is our 11th Annual Report, our membership stands at 50 with a committee of 11.
For the majority of 2017, our Committee team-sheet remained unchanged over the last 12 months, with Angela Smith stepping down from the Publicity role in March with Pat Martin and Jane Barnett stepping forward to help. Then in September, Angela Charles announced that she would stand down from her Presidential role at Christmas and would be leaving the WI. The wonderful Pat stepped forward to keep us from closing, as did the lovely Janet when Esther decided to step down earlier this year. Committee members Audrey, Joyce, Gill, Eunice, Rosie, Julie, Tina and Jo stayed on with myself to steady the boat. On behalf of the membership, I thank you all for your continued support and hard work.
Once again, we must thank Rosie and Julie for providing such a great programme of speakers for us during the last year, from Bomb Disposal experts to Boxworth Botanicals, to Noreen showing us how to make wreaths and our own Sally talking about her visits to Malawi! For me personally, a few evenings really stood out. Geoff Lambert came to talk to use about the Medical Detection Dogs Charity who train companion dogs for people who need a little help to manage their illnesses and conditions such as diabetes, Addisons disease and narcolepsy. He brought along his retired ambassador dog Buddy who had a fine old time being fussed over by us all. In October, Claire Mulley gave us wonderful walk through the life of Eglantyne Jebb who started the charity Save the Children. I remember having a stinking cold and was all set to go home after doing “my bit” but her talk was so interesting and her enthusiasm so contagious, I ended up saying right til the end! My other favourite evening was our Christmas Social, we had a lovely time just being social and even better, I won the raffle!!
Outside of our meetings, we went to Brick Lane Music Hall in June and Trent River Cruise in August, fab days out for all who went and a big thank you goes to Angela Charles for organising both trips. Our lunches have experienced fine cuisine from all corners of our locality, with thanks to all those who have organised them whether they be lunches or evening meals. Some of us were lucky enough to attend the Annual Council Meeting and hear Alan Dedicote talk of his life as a broadcaster. In addition, some of us got to hear the lovely Bill Turnbull speak of his life and career in October. Bill isn’t so well at the moment as he’s battling cancer, we send him our best wishes.
The Choir continues to go from strength to strength with outings at the Ely tour and dance performance, Eltisley’s feast week, Elsworth Trinity Church, Ely Cathedral, Bethany Care Home in St Neots and at the Saffron Hall festival. Thank you all for your time and generosity.
Our support of the community reached new levels this year. Sally took over Joyce in organising the planting of bulbs in the Village Centre and again we were inundated with your generosity. A small band of cleaning warriors took on cleaning the chairs at the Studio, yes the very ones that you’re sitting on! We also became quite adept at money making this year. Following our Fashion Show held in the Village Hall in April, we donated £1400 to Patient Link at the Papworth Surgery. The evening held with Colours Fashion was a huge success and really raised the profile of the WI in Papworth and the surrounding villages. It was said that a certain pair of leather hotpants were a hot topic for discussion for a while afterwards. Shortly after we ran a Tombola at the Papworth Fete in June making £180 for our own funds and we sold out in an hour and a half! I personally enjoyed helping out at both events and feel slightly responsible for the increase in gambling activity with most of the kids in the village! Our generosity didn’t stop there as collections at our meetings raised £114 and our combined Christmas card raised nearly £50 for the Alzheimers Society. Angela judged the Cake Competition at Papworth Fete and we awarded prizes at the school’s leavers assembly. Huge thanks to you all.
To everyone that helps out at meetings, thank you. Thank you to the refreshment teams, the meeters-and –greeters, to the birthday card posse, to our scrapbook ensemble, to our darts team and captain, and to our archivist. To everyone involved in producing and serving the fabulous food we’ve enjoyed at special meals throughout the year; to everyone that attends, a big thanks.
To our President Pat, who also stepped in at the eleventh hour at Christmas when we thought we might close. We may have only worked together for a short while but thank you for your supportive and capable leadership. It’s been pretty fab so far and I look forward to working with you for the rest of the year.
So what does 2018 have in store for Papworth Everard WI? Well, we can look forward to our trip to Island Hall in May and plenty of other things happening with the community throughout the year. Sadly some familiar faces will be leaving the Committee. Rosie, Julie, Tina and Joyce – we thank you for your service and all you’ve done for PEWI, you will be greatly missed. However, in the spirit of spring and renewal, we look forward to meeting and working with our new committee members – whoever they may be!