Please, please, please let this be the beginning of the end! After the odd hiccup Suffolk is now just getting on with the job and the jab.
Not long to go before we can all safely meet up again and hug to our heart’s content. Nobody will be safe from me I can tell you; friends, family, colleagues, even total strangers! No more Zoom and dancing round each other on pavements and footpaths. Bring it on!
Mind you we must be eternally grateful to the clever technical people who have concocted a way of virtual meetings. It has made our Suffolk East WI Federation Board meetings possible almost from the start of last spring’s lockdown. It has meant we can run our federation of over 3000 members, and continue to give them the best service possible in very difficult times. Our sub committees have carried on doing what they can to offer interesting events too. And many WIs have stepped up to find speakers for this kind of meeting. It’s not what we’re used to and not the ideal for many but then a cold village hall in January is challenging too! Not to mention the getting there and back. Our members are an inventive lot. We have also been able to investigate an entirely new kind of WI via Zoom. There has been good interest in our pilot Virtual WI and we shall be feeding back to our National Federation what we have learned from our trial.
The WI is still very much open for business and if you’d like to see more of what we get up to then do have a browse on our websites the wi.org.uk and sefwi.org.uk. You’ll find there is so much more than jam, although I am still admiring my shelf of this year’s marmalade. We are currently considering what resolutions will go forward for campaigning this year. We haven’t forgotten all the others from past years like saving the honey bee, tackling loneliness (which has been even more pertinent over the past year), or stem cell donation. As time goes by so many other matters need 200,000 women to make changes happen.
Talking of making changes and getting back to jabs a word of praise for the molecular biologists who have slogged their socks off to get us a safe effective vaccine. And all those brandishing syringes day after day too. A neighbour and I, safely distanced of course, got the giggles imagining some kind of nodding-donkey vaccine-jabbing machine set up to deal with the numbers of people filing past. But you can’t thank a machine can you? Even looking at each other over our masks I know our NHS teams are pleased to be doing what they do and I am pleased to be on the receiving end.
Not long now and we can get together in our community centres and village halls, listening to an interesting speaker, chatting with our WI friends. That’s normal. That’s inspiring women!
Suffolk East Federation of WIs Trustee.