We might be in lockdown but we’re certainly not shut down! Most importantly during lockdown, we’re keeping in touch to make that difference to our own members. With SIGBI President Isobel’s message firmly in mind ‘This is a time to when friendship and caring come into their own’.
So what’s happening in Malawi? Well they’re preparing for the Covid 19 pandemic in Malawi too. The front line healthcare workers need just as much support as our NHS. So what have we done to help? If you compare it to the resources we have in the UK it perhaps doesn’t seem much. But thankfully with our link with Friends of Sick Children in Malawi we’ve been able to help. Relatively small sums of money make a huge difference there. And it’s very humbling to be sent this thank you video.
The Domestic Violence Bill has never been more important. The average number of deaths used to be a shocking two a week. In the weeks since Covid 19 lockdown this has increased to FIVE per week As a Club and as individuals we’ve sent letters and emails to our MPs regarding this bill that has just gone through its second reading. Most importantly it has gone through without a division and now goes to committee stage.
Well the best laid plans and all that! Despite our excellent Development Group changing the date of our AGM so as not to clash with Maundy Thursday, unfortunately no one foresaw Coronavirus scuppering everything. A new style of AGM was called for. Thanks to our SUPER secretary, we were all prepared before Covid 19 forced lockdown on us. Our key posts are filled. The AGM was managed via email and a few phone calls. And as we Zoom into the future, Meetings via the wonders of Zoom will be happening soon. Some of our less techy Club members will have their hands held (via phonecall obviously!) to help them join in. We have great plans! A WhatsApp group now is up and running with many jokes to keep us cheered up and messages of support And although we can’t meet at the
Fabulous news – about the Kangaroo Knitting Club in the Spring newsletter from Friends Of Sick Children in Malawi. SI Blantyre, one of our friendship links, continue to enable women in the Kangaroo Unit at Queen Elisabeth Central Hospital. These ladies can earn money knitting for premature babies while waiting for their own prem babies to grow! As a result of start up money from our Club for this project, SI Blantyre have been able to help oversee it
Well we should have been celebrating President Sandra’s last event with a lovely dinner. Instead Covid 19 has taken over and we are in lockdown. Never a Club to dwell on negatives, we celebrated our wonderful NHS instead. Here we are, loud and proud, clapping for the NHS. Not everyone could send in photos but we sent loads of supportive messages via our new WhatsApp group.
By wearing purple of course! Because the MAR meeting was the day before International Women’s Day, we decked ourselves out in as much purple as possible! Julie, one of our newest Club members read the Mission Statement. Besides the reports from the MAR executive, we talked about ways we can celebrate our Centenary next year. The possibility of a sculpture at the National Memorial Arboretum is very exciting.
And in the UK too! Well who knew that the Red Cross worked in the UK as well as internationally! Not many of our Club, that was for sure! Cara Munrow , our local fundraiser, certainly educated us on the work they do at home as well as abroad. Besides First Aid courses, they provide all sorts of other support in a crisis that we hadn’t thought about. Not only does the Red Cross provide physical items such as mobility aids and practical help after a flood or fire. Given the recent floods around the country this winter they have been especially busy. They also provide emotional support to those affected by a crisis. Because of their expertise they are also the biggest provider of refugee and International family tracing services. As one of our members put it – Cara, thank you
Yes – because sadly the stats for foodbanks if anything are getting worse. Andy Bower from the Trussell Trust gave us an update on the foodbank situation in our area. The stats make salutary reading. There are now 465 foodbanks in the UK. Besides the one in Kenilworth there are now a total of 6 in the Warwick District. With 158 referral agencies locally more than 5,100 including children were helped in 2019. 53,500 tons of food has been distributed. December was particularly busy with 180 people per week helped. The main users being single men and single parent families (usually women). And the main reasons for need are low income, benefit delays and changes, debt and homelessness.
As you can imagine – very difficult as our speaker Heather Alford explained Heather introduced us to life in Nepal, a county with exceptionally rough terrain where there are few made up roads making it difficult to get about. The Nepalese farm on terraced fields making the most of every inch of fertile land to grow crops. How do Nepalese women access treatment for leprosy? Leprosy can be treated but sufferers are often unable or willing to come to hospitals for treatment. The Leprosy Mission now goes out to find those with the condition to give treatment. So what’s the impact of leprosy for women? Most of the hard farming work is done by women by hand as the terrine is to difficult for farm machinery. Heather explained how she used her physiotherapy skills on her two five month visits