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Mary Anne Rawson grave & interpretation board
Mary Anne Rawson

Mary Anne Rawson

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Members of SI Hallamshire attended the launch of the new Interpretation Boards at the Zion Graveyard on Sunday. The Friends of Zion Graveyard have been renovating the graveyard and uncovering the old graves. One of these is the grave of Mary Anne Rawson, an early anti – slavery activist in Sheffield in the 1800’s. Mary Anne also established the Wincobank School, one of the first free schools in Sheffield. SI Hallamshire has sponsored the interpretation board at the graveyard, close to her grave, which gives more information about her work. The club has also purchased some indigenous plants to aid the restoration of the graveyard. The interpretation board is a great new educational resource for adults and children alike and increase peoples’ knowledge about Sheffield’s role in opposing slavery, and particularly in the work of Mary Anne Rawson in the 1800’s.        

Twiddlemuffs and Teddy Bears

Twiddlemuffs and Teddy Bears

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This year SI Hallamshire have been supporting Sheffield Hospitals Charity Dementia Appeal. As well as raising money for our charity, our members have been knitting Twiddlemuffs and dementia teddy bears to help patients whilst they are in hospital. Research has shown that if a patient is given a twiddlemuffs to wear. This provides a source of visual, sensory and tactile stimulation and helps to keep patients calm. We asked our friendship club, SI Sutton Coldfield if they would like to help us with this project. The results are shown in the attached photos. Our outgoing President Sandra met incoming President of SI Sutton Coldfield Pam to collect the twiddlemuffs and teddy bears recently. In keeping with coronavirus restrictions we met in the car park of a well known fast food restaurant on the Derby ring road! We hope you will agree the results are fabulous.

New President

New President

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We recently held our AGM on Zoom. President Sandra completed her term of office, which has all been conducted virtually over Zoom due the Coronavirus pandemic. Although this has presented its challenges, we have derived many benefits from this way of working. It has enabled club members to stay in touch on a regular basis and we have been able to meet each other but not face to face except for a few small gatherings in members’ gardens last summer (observing the ‘rule of six’ of course!). It has also helped to improve our computer skills and confidence with IT, which will a great help as we move forward into different ways of working. President Sandra was unable to present incoming President Angela with the chain of office in person , so she presented it virtually and new President Angela presented Sandra with her past

Illustrate Christmas activities
Fundraising activities

Fundraising activities

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Our President’s charity this year is Sheffield Hospitals Dementia Appeal. This appeal is raising money to improve the hospital environment for patients with dementia by, for example, colour coding bed bays to stop people getting lost or replacing signs with pictures instead of words. We have been unable to hold our usual fundraising activities so some of our members decided to help our charity with individual fundraising initiatives. Three members planted indoor bulbs in pretty china bowls and teacups and  made christmas puddings and christmas cakes, which they sold to Club members. We also held a “Lovely Hands’ workshop, which proved a relaxing activity in the run-up to Christmas. The consultant leading the workshop donated 10% of the value of products sold to our charity. Altogether, these activities raised over £400 for our Charity – a great effort during a Tier 3 lockdown. It also

To demonstrate the orange the world campaign
‘Orange the World’

‘Orange the World’

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One of our members Angela Farrall is wearing an orange face mask to support the sixteen days of Activism  against Gender based Violence between 25th November and 10th December. The theme is ‘Orange the World’. We love Angela’s mask – thank you for sharing it with us.

Illustrate Christmas Wreath
Wreath making evening

Wreath making evening

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At our recent social meeting past President Sue Smith showed us how to make a Christmas wreath. She used a variety of foliage and added dried oranges, pine cones and cinnamon sticks plus a beautiful green Christmas bow.  Sue then demonstrated two Christmas floral arrangements. The first used used plant material that many of us would have readily available in our gardens whilst the second on incorporated artificial flowers. Sue’s instructions were clear and easy to follow. We had a most enjoyable and relaxing evening and were inspired to make our own decorations this Christmas. Thank you, Sue.

Twiddle Muffs

Twiddle Muffs

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Members of our club have been knitting twiddle muffs for dementia patients. These colourful muffs are knitted in different coloured and textured wools.They have strands of textured ribbons, beads and fabrics attached to them, both inside and out. People with dementia have restless hands. Twiddle muffs help to keep their hands active and busy. as well as snug and warm. They provide visual, tactile and sensory stimulation. These muffs have been donated to the Alzheimers Society to be wrapped and given to people as Christmas presents. Our fundraising this year is for The Sheffield Hospitals’ Charity – Dementia Appeal. This appeal aims to improve the hospital environment for dementia patients by providing arts and music activities, mobile dementia cafes and therapy dogs. the aim is also make the wards more dementia friendly by the use of colour coded bed bays and replacing signs with pictures

Picture of Mary Anne Rawson
Mary Anne Rawson

Mary Anne Rawson

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At our last business meeting we had a presentation about Mary Anne Rawson, an early anti-slavery campaigner and champion for children’s education. Mary Anne was born in 1801. In 1825 she was a founder member and  secretary of the Sheffield Female Anti-Slavery Society.This society campaigned for an immediate end to slavery in the BritishEmpire and also achieved a decrease in the sales of coffee and sugar form slave plantations. The society was active until 1833 when the abolition legislation was passed. Mary Anne then joined the Sheffield Ladies Association for the Universal Abolition of Slavery, which campaigned for the case of slaves across the world. Mary Anne was widowed early in her life and brought up her young daughter on her own. However, she was wealthy in her own right. Her family home was Wincobank Hall and she opened a free school for local children

Friendship Link Meeting

Friendship Link Meeting

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This week we held our first virtual Friendship link meeting. Our Friendship Club is SI Sutton Coldfield. Each year we normally meet for a social meetings and we attend each others Charter events. However, this has not been possible in 2020. SI Sutton Coldfield President Jacqueline Bannister arranged a Zoom meeting. The meeting was attended by a total of eighteen members from the two clubs. President Jackie commented that we had reduced our carbon Footprint for this meeting to virtually zero! Bozenna Benton told us that SI Sutton Coldfield had held a meeting recently with their International Friendship links. Our two clubs exchanged news about their lockdown activities. We talked about our programme action projects and the social meetings we have held’ which have either been on Zoom or outside in socially distanced settings. SI Sutton Coldfield have been busy in lockdown helping SI Hallamshire

Pelvic health talk

Pelvic health talk

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SI Hallamshire have recently listened to a talk about Pelvic Health. This was our first speaker meeting on Zoom. Our speaker was Emily Elgar, who is a women’s health physiotherapist. Women’s Health physiotherapists treat conditions which affect the bladder, bowel and vagina. These conditions are often caused by poor function of the muscles of the pelvic floor. Physiotherapy aims  to improve pelvic floor function with specific targeted exercises. Emily’s talk was entitled ‘Pelvic Health’. She introduce her talk by describing her route into physiotherapy and career pathway which led her to specialise in Pelvic Health ( The modern name for the specialism as they also treat men). She introduced her talk with slides of the anatomy of the pelvic region to illustrate how the muscles, bones and organs are dependant upon each other. Emily talked us through simple pelvis floor exercises. She then discussed factors