Annual Report 2015-16

Papworth Everard WI Annual Report April 2015 – March 2016

Here we are again ladies, a year older and hopefully wiser since our last AGM, and this is the 9th Annual Report. Our membership stands at 42 with a Committee of 9. A year ago, Collette Bradshaw, Sally Bartlett and Christine Scott stepped down from the Committee and their places were taken by Angela Smith, Eunice Killick and Audrey Reid. There followed a substantial reallocation of roles within the Committee, with Angela Smith taking charge of publicity, Eunice overseeing the rotas and Rosie Blencowe, alongside her presidential duties, taking on programme planning, assisted by Audrey. Gill Bywater became responsible for ‘meet and greet’, with Joyce Burton concentrating on the choir and membership. Jo Pegg, Kathie Reilly and myself carried on as normal, as room booker, treasurer and secretary respectively.

When we look back at this year’s programme, we must thank Collette and Gill for providing the framework and contacting many of the speakers, and Rosie and Audrey for steering and supplementing the plan as well as compiling the programme for 2016. Our speakers this year have not disappointed and we have been both entertained and inspired by them. I’ll remind you of three. Our Open Meeting in June took the form of a fashion show, with outfits provided by Bonmarche and a brave group of members volunteered to become models for the evening. We tried not to get carried away, managing to keep our feet on the ground and not fall over. Our ‘have a go’ spirit was also clearly in evidence at July’s meeting, when Sue Baker took us through the rudiments of Belly Dancing. This coincided with Papworth WI’s 8th birthday and we celebrated with decorated cupcakes probably not a good idea just before belly dancing! In total contrast, in November we welcomed Nick King from Amey Waste Management and Recycling who would have thought that a talk all about rubbish would have been so engrossing?

Last year was made extra special of course by the WI Centenary Celebrations and in September, our meeting marked the WI’s 100th birthday with a ‘bring and buy’ sale, cake and bubbly. Although not quite old enough to reflect on 100 years, members recounted significant memories from the past and Angela and Helen described their unforgettable day at the Palace Garden Party.

Our centenarythemed Group Meeting in June, hosted by Hardwick WI was a splendid occasion. A large number of our members attended and enjoyed the generous hospitality along with a superb performance by Cambridge Harmony.

Outings this year have taken members to Hampton Court Flower Show in July and Bury St Edmunds Christmas Market in November. We were again pleased to accept Yelling WI’s invitation to their annual Garden Party in July. Members also enjoyed an evening in June at Abbotsley WI when Alison Dickens talked about the archeological findings at the site of the Trumpington Meadows development. We are very much looking forward to her visit to us in April to talk about excavating the site of the Grand Arcade.

Monthly lunches are as popular as ever, with new venues being explored as well as old ones being revisited. Thanks to all those who have arranged these, to everyone who has provided transport and to Collette for being the point of contact. An evening meal was also organised this year for those unable to make lunchtimes. Ann Coote again opened her home for the July ‘bring and share’ lunch. Thank you Ann.

The Papworth and Elsworth WI Choir was reincarnated this year as ‘Lyrical Voices’ and has taken part in numerous events throughout the year, including singing at Jan, the Director’s wedding in July, hosting a Festival of Choirs in October and participating in the Christmas Service at Ely Cathedral. Joyce, you must be very proud to see how far the choir has come.

Our WI is far from inwardlooking and will seize any opportunity to play its part in a community event. Members baked cakes to sell at the School Fete, sharing a stall with Papworth Hospital. Joyce represented us at the school’s Leavers’ Assembly, presenting book tokens and the Endeavour Cup. More than 400 daffodil bulbs, donated by members, were planted in the Autumn in the village centre.

Members have generously donated to charity. As well as monthly coin and stamp contributions, members gave £100 to a local charity, Anna’s Hope; Lyn Janaway raised £191 for Macmillan at her coffee morning in September; £35 was collected in November for Children in Need and £47 given to East Anglia Air Ambulance through the joint Christmas card. Our fund raising realised £65 at the cake stall in July and £136 from the ‘bring and buy’ in September.

To everyone who helps out at meetings, thank you. This year we’ve sadly been without the services of Bill and Liz, our wonderful caretakers, so it has been down to us to set out the chairs and tables and put them away at the end. Thank you to everyone who helps with this not very glamorous but essential task. Thank you to the refreshment teams, Ann and Doris, always ready to take our money at the door, to Liz, Tina, Christine and Eunice for the birthday cards, to Pat for looking after the sound system, to Joyce and Pat for keeping the scrapbook up to date, to Jenny for organising the darts team and the archives, to everyone involved in producing and serving the fabulous food we have enjoyed at special times this year; to everyone, a big, big thankyou you make Papworth WI the vibrant, happy place it is.

Finally, to our President, Rosie, the original multitasker, whose contribution this year has far exceeded her brief thank you for your capable leadership, your boundless enthusiasm, your ability to conjure up interesting raffle prizes and your enviable culinary skills your ‘galettes des rois’ will long be remembered. Thank you Rosie.

Anne Laing Secretary PEWI March 2016