For the third year running I had the honour of laying a wreath at the Bognor Regis Remembrance Service on behalf of our WI.
Members rallied to the call to make poppies for the wreath and produced an eclectic array of poppies made from a variety of materials including wool, plastic, paper, egg boxes. A true reflection of the talents within our WI.
Our talented secretary Jen put together the wreath with the help of her daughter Clara, a WI member in the making.
A group of members joined me on the day and thanks to Sarah G who accompanied me whilst laying the wreath.
On a personal level it’s an act of remembrance for my father and grandfather who fought in both World Wars, but also very proud to represent our WI as part of the community.
At 6am on Saturday 4th June I lay awake listening to the rain which hadn’t stopped all night. I channelled my inner Barbra Streisand to “Don’t rain on my Parade”. Our WI was taking part in carnival and we didn’t want to get wet!!
At 8am the rain stopped and the sun came out.
Our makeup and stylist Fleurie transformed myself, Ann Mc, Clare, Izzy, Jack, Jen, Karen, Maggie P, Manuela, Olga, Rosemary W, Sarah W and Katie into the Queen of Hearts, an entourage of playing cards and the White Rabbit.
We were ready and waiting and after a bit of a wait we set off with Jen and Sarah leading the way carrying our banner.
We were greeted by so many people lining the streets of Bognor and thank you to those members who were amongst the crowds, in particular to those who popped up more than once.
We were behind the Laburnham Centre float which was playing music and allowed us the opportunity to have a bit of a dance and at one point I looked behind to see Ann leading the cards in a routine – so brilliant Ann.
Katie and Jack did a tremendous job with the collection buckets. All monies raised went to the Bognor Regis Illuminations Fund.
We got to West Park on time where a number of us made straight for the beer tent for a very welcome pint. An Observer photographer captured this event and we made the local paper with both a before and after photo.
It was a day of fun, friendship and showcasing our WI to the people of Bognor.
These bags have been made by June, Barbara, Janet and 2 friends. The first 12 went to Greenway’s Care Home. Jan’s group is making more so each of the staff members have one each. A second batch has gone to a care home in Middleton on Sea
It started with an email from Dinah asking if we could do something as a walking netball group in relation to the 26 challenge.
The London Marathon had been cancelled due to the virus and therefore the challenge was to raise money for charities in a creative way and have fun doing it.
I came up with the idea of a shooting challenge for our lovely netball group and Annie, our Team Manager, launched it in her inimitable way.
The aim was to score as many goals as possible in 26 minutes from a distance of 2.6 metres. The really creative part was the goal! Most followed a prototype of a bucket secured to a step ladder. Some had buckets which were suspended on walls or chicken runs, others had targets at ground level. Sarah’s husband even made a goal and attached it to a wall. It didn’t matter what height it was. The ‘missile’ could be any ball or rolled up socks or tea towel. It didn’t matter.
What mattered was how many you could shoot. Of course, being of a competitive nature, the ladies rose to the challenge magnificently.
I thought I had better try this out before Sunday (Marathon day) and see if I could actually do it myself. Bucket was securely wedged on top of the step ladder and time began. Well, I was pretty smug with myself and scored 50 goals and set this as the target to beat! Little did I know how the ladies would respond. Scores started coming in …
a score of 27 with “my bucket was moving a lot!”
24 goals with “after 15 minutes my bucket snapped!”
Then Maggie comes in with 83 goals
Sarah’s next “I’ve just scored 134 goals” this was amazing
100 balls in the bucket by Celia
“I hit the target 154 times but no chickens were harmed” this from Manuela
Annie secured 93 goals and did lots of retrieving
It didn’t matter what the score was we all enjoyed the banter of trying to beat each other. Some of the comments were just brilliant and I’m sure everyone had a smile on their face. Here is a selection:
The tee shirt made all the difference.
My husband made me a ladder goal post, only disadvantage the ring was a triangle!
I did a tremendous amount of retrieving the ball and bending.
Sarah, did your ball have elastic on it?
I would like to think the ball was too light and the bucket the wrong size.
My husband was pleased when I stopped as he was my ball boy.
I found it quite aerobic!
My accurate aim kept hitting the handle and so the ball went flying into the bushes.
The most important aspect of the day was to raise money for Sage House. I believe we raised approximately £350. Well done everyone, it was an amazing effort and such good fun. I’m sure you’ll agree the photos are brilliant and shooting techniques were pretty good too.
My thanks go to Dinah who collated the photos, to Annie who made it happen, and to everyone who took part
Well done, Bognor Regis WI! A sample of our work is shown in these photographs.
Our laundry bags and fabric hearts have been distributed to St Richards Maternity Unit, Queen Alexander Hospital, and Bognor Regis Care Homes including Burlington, Homebeech, Royal Bay, and Abbotslawn. There are more on the go too!
To ensure the bags get to the right places in time, our WI has worked with Aldwick Quilters, who have reached more Care Homes, including Ashley Place and Aronel Cottage.
The laundry bags enable care staff to take their uniforms home to wash, in the bag, minimising the risk of corona virus contamination between the two places. The hearts are a token of our appreciation for the work that care staff do with their residents, or to bring a sparkle of joy to residents.
Care Homes have been touched, and some overwhelmed, by the kindness and generosity our WI members have shown. Each Care Home has thanked us sincerely (see one example below). The range of fabric colours and the decorations on the hearts has put a smile on their faces, and helped them feel appreciated during a time when some have felt left out.
On 10 November a small group of WI members took part in the Remembrance Service at the war memorial in Bognor Regis. As our new President I was honoured to step forward and lay the wreath together with Katie who organised our presence at the service and our wreath. A very proud moment for us both.