Sage House, one of our charities for 2020, asked for support so that they could be ready to reopen their facilities at Tangmere for people with dementia, and, of course Bognor Regis WI responded! Their request was for face masks as Coronavirus guidelines advise that face masks are worn whenever groups get together indoors. Armed with a large donation of knicker elastic from one of our members, 12 of us raided our fabric boxes. A couple of broken needles later and with some frustration over the multitude of designs out there, we made well over 100 face masks. Well done, Bognor Regis WI.
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.
Back in the spring, the West Sussex Federation Art & Craft Sub-Committee announced this year’s County Craft Competition. As 2019 is West Sussex Federation’s Centenary Year – the competition had a centenary theme.
Members were asked to use the county flower of Sussex the ‘Round-headed Rampion’ – a flower also known as the ‘Pride of Sussex’, as shown on the Federation’s centenary badge, as inspiration….. and produce an item of craft in any medium.
Three members of Bognor Regis WI took up the challenge and produced three completely different and beautiful entries.
All the items submitted by West Sussex members were pre-judged at North Lodge by an independent judge from outside our Federation. All the items were displayed at the WSFWI Annual Meeting in October and the results of the competition were announced.
Our members did exceptionally well…
Barbara F was awarded 1st Place with her 3d Textile Rampion, and she was presented with the Silver Plate at the Annual meeting, which she will have on loan for the year.
June S was awarded ‘Highly Commended’ for her curved glass picture
Jan A was awarded ‘Commended’ for her framed stitched picture of the Downs
Congratulations to all of them, your fellow Bognor Regis WI members are very proud of you!
10 of our members learnt a new technique using polymer clay and extruders to make jewellery, key fobs, coasters, buttons and hair grips, in the style of Gustav Klimt.
Various coloured clay sticks were sliced, put together to make a cone and put through an extruder tool, emerging as long strips of patterned clay. The strips were stacked, cut, and re-stacked twice. The stack was cut into slices, massaged together and cut into the shapes required. The combination of colours and tiny patterns melted our creative hearts, and we all fell in love with the technique.
I had used my WI bursary money to learn the craft and pass on the skill to others – money well spent I would say. Thank you Bognor Regis WI.
14 of our WI members built up a collection of 8 knitted twiddle muffs, 2 knitted twiddle mats, 7 fabric twiddle mats and 2 twiddle marble mats on Monday 29th July 2019 for one of our 2019 WI charities – Sage House. There are more in the pipe line, as some needed a bit more twiddling and fiddling before being ready to add to the pile!
Thank you WI members for helping make the Charity Sew/Knit-In Day fun. We all laughed, exchanged ideas and skills, and shared tools and fabrics – and of course we had tea and cake.
The May meeting of Bognor Regis WI started in a swirl of colour with President Dinah Barrand sporting her new striped dungarees made from recycled fabric and supplied by a fair trade African company. This set the tone of the meeting which focussed on the Resolutions put forward by the National Federation of Womens’ Institutes but with an overarching theme of how all members could make a difference to our world by making small (or bigger) changes to their lifestyles.
First, however, Dinah introduced Mandy, the Deputy Co-ordinator of the Bognor Food Bank. She described how most food banks (Bognor included) come under the aegis of the Trussell Trust, a charity which aims to end hunger and poverty in the UK and to campaign for change to end the need for food banks. Mandy talked about the circumstances which led to people needing short term help including delays/changes in benefit payments, redundancy, pregnancy and domestic violence. Bognor Food Bank relies on donations of non-perishable food from members of the public and clients need a voucher from a referring agency such as CAB, Radio Respect, My Sisters House etc. This system allows the referring agency to work with the person, providing ongoing support to hopefully improve their circumstance
As well as providing food, however, Bognor Food Bank provides care and compassion and ensures that all clients are valued, listened to and cared about. The Food Bank has also provided courses on budget cookery and tries to give extra help in the summer holidays – when school meals are not available – and special Christmas bags. Sadly, the need is growing with 3,000 people being fed last year – an increase of 33%.
After a very warm vote of thanks both for Mandy’s talk and for the excellent work they are doing, the meeting moved on to a quiz and vote on the potential resolutions. These were the provision of additional council funding for public bus services and encouraging more women (including young women) to have regular smear tests. It was agreed by a clear majority that both resolutions were worthy of support and the delegate to the national AGM in June will vote in accordance with the wishes of BRWI.
swimsuits made from recycled plastic
up-cycled bags made from denim jeans, old curtains and thought plastic packaging.
During the extended refreshment break with Prosecco and cake (including the delicious vegan cupcakes – to view the recipe – click Vegan Ginger Cupcakes) members had the opportunity to explore the displays on green living set up by the Committee. These included a clear demonstration of what items can be put in the recycling bin and what can be recycled elsewhere, green replacements/substitutions for household products including homemade beeswax food covering and pan scrubbers, making the move to a plant based diet and the resources available to do so, reducing or eliminating the need for single use plastics, recycling and upcycling materials to make bags (and the examples included some unlikely raw materials!) and making rich and friable compost from garden and kitchen waste. To see all the ideas click here Lots of questions were asked and many pledges made to try something new; it was inspiring to see how the members really wanted to make a difference to the lives of the local community and the wider world.
Later in the month, twenty members will be making a visit to Tuppenny Barn a sustainable living education centre in Southbourne, and three members will be joining lots of other WIs – and many other groups concerned about climate change – when they go on the Time is Now mass lobby of Parliament. This summer the Government will decide whether to end the UK’s contribution to climate change by committing to a net zero emissions target. They will also have the chance to end nature’s decline by committing to a strong Environment Bill. The Time is Now on June 26th is hoped to be the largest mass lobby for climate and the environment that the UK has ever seen. The WI is very proud to be part of it!!
Our charity ‘Friends of Bognor Hospital’ have asked if we could knit some ‘Twiddle muffs’ for them. They are knitted or crocheted muffs given to elderly patients to keep their hands warm and they also give the patients something to ‘fidget’ with – they find them comforting.
There are lots of patterns and pictures online all with slight variations. We’ve included one below, but any muff would be appreciated. You can sew on buttons, ribbons etc and add a pocket for a handkerchief or keepsake. Let your imaginations fly – if you’re an expert you can use them to practise new stitches or if you’re a beginner the odd mistake won’t show!
I’m starting one tonight and I’m certainly no expert – should be interesting. They’re a great way of using up odd bits of wool. If you attach buttons etc please make sure that they are well secured as they can be a danger if they come loose.
Click below to view a pdf of the twiddlemuff pattern: