Arbury IW Club provides support to the SWANS singing group ('singing with a new spirit'). It is a workshop for people living with dementia, brain injuries and their carers. They meet weekly and the sessions start with refreshments and time to chat. Then they sing songs together and have time to discuss and share their thoughts and feelings together giving them a very peaceful and meaningful time.
At the February meeting members had the chance to experience hands on book folding. Speaker, Carol Collins, encouraged members to have a go by making a hedgehog formed from a paperback book. Carol raises money for Macmillan Nurses by making the hedgehogs, angels, Christmas decoration and also by filling tiny ‘happiness’ bags. After dinner a delicious birthday cake was provided by Vice President Pat Rose who was celebrating her 70th birthday and she asked members who were born in the years immediately following the 2nd World War, the baby boomers, to join her for a birthday photograph.
A fun time was enjoyed at a lunch and skittles event held at Ansty Club. This was to support our District Inner Wheel project helping the Batwa Pygmies in Uganda who were evicted from their ancestral forest homeland. The ‘Bees Abroad’ project is to provide help by developing a self-sustaining livelihood of bee keeping and selling related products.
Despite the recent inclement weather of snow and freezing temperatures a Coffee Morning went ahead at Nuneaton Methodist Church, Abbey Street. We are pleased that it was supported well enough to be able to have funds to give to ‘Doorway’, a charity helping homeless young people.
World Inner Wheel Day this year was celebrated by the Arbury Club by holding our meeting at Ambleside Community Club where we enjoyed lots of chatter and a meal provided by members. The profit raised at this event will benefit Oakwood School and will be used to provide respite care for some parents. The event was also an excuse to congratulate member Jane Corrigan who was celebrating her Golden Wedding Anniversary.
Club members were delighted to recently give a donation to Nuneaton Food Bank. This was achieved by members giving a small donation over the Christmas period instead of sending cards to other club members. Four centres in Nuneaton open twice a week and from 20th January to 17th February 436 people were helped. They are currently distributing on average one ton of food per week. Allocation is controlled through assessment, approved by professional care and support agencies who issue food vouchers assuring that there is strict monitoring. Often only one food box is necessary to help a family through difficult times. The Food Bank is wholly supported by volunteers and along with partner organisations can offer support and advice to help clients out of crisis situation. A most worthy charity to support and on-going monthly donations of food by our members will continue.
A Fashion Show held at Coton Sports and Social Club was an opportunity for members and their friends to replenish their wardrobes at very reasonable prices and an excuse to get rid of items not worn for ages. All the clothes were brands from major High Street stores. They were expertly modelled by Club members and the clothes which came in all sizes and for all occasions were available to buy on the night. Not only did the audience enjoy a fun filled evening but happily three charities benefitted from the proceeds: Mary Ann Evans Hospice, the Air Ambulance and Zoe’s Place.
Members attending a recent District 6 meeting enjoyed a very lively event. As well as attending to business and enjoying a good lunch there were lots of opportunity to buy Christmas presents from stalls provided by many of the clubs. We have many talented and ‘crafty’ ladies making unusual novelties and Christmas decorations.
The after dinner speaker at the November meeting was a representative from the Medical Detection Dogs Charity The inspirational talk informed us about how trained dogs can detect odours associated with many cancers and other diseases. Also the Alert Assistance Dogs can alert individuals who often have no awareness of an impending life threatening medical event. A very successful Coffee morning held by our Club at Nuneaton Methodist Church enabled a cheque to be presented to the Charity.
President Glenys Gibbs and Sylvia Pare had the very pleasant task of presenting a cheque to Anne Askins, chairman of the Nuneaton and Bedworth Parkinson’s support group who meet at St Francis is Assisi Catholic Church hall on the last Tuesday of the month. It is a very worthy cause giving an afternoon of respite to sufferers and carers. The group organise outings, and on the afternoon of the visit an excellent speaker was enjoyed.
At our Christmas get-together we held a less formal meeting enjoying pots of tea and mince pies. Members ‘tackled’ a quiz and listened to a couple of ditties read by one of our members. It was a pleasant afternoon giving the Club members chance to chat and have fun. Also a Christmas gift stall and a raffle raised some money for our charities.
Travels with an IW Tea Towel
Well reaching the ripe old age of 70 is brilliant giving me every excuse to keep celebrating!!!
The celebration on the day was organised by my daughter, all a complete surprise enjoyed by eighteen special friends enjoying a ladies pamper afternoon and a lovely lunch.
A shared celebration with Sylvia Pare, who also reached this milestone in July, was a great success spending an afternoon with our Inner Wheel Club
However on top of this I thought "what would I like to do personally to celebrate being 70?". Well having done the Pennine Way last year (270 miles in 20 days) another long distance path did appeal but, with my commitments this year, this wasn't possible so then I decided I would like to do the Yorkshire three peaks, Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough, not in twelve hours I might add, but as part of a week’s holiday. My walking friend Jean Davies was also seventy in August, I suggested a holiday in North Yorkshire.
So off we went and although I didn't do any sponsorship I felt I wanted to promote my connection with Inner Wheel hence taking the tea towel. Its use was to keep champagne glasses intact!! Three bottles of champagne had been received on my birthday so a bottle of bubbles was enjoyed at each peak, although on two occasions hot coffee and a brandy might have been preferable!! However we all entered into the spirit of the occasion and had much fun and laughter. The Tea Towel, although very wet and soggy on a couple of occasions, survived its ordeal and, I might add, washed beautifully and is ready for its next excursion. It possibly "walked" forty plus miles, just going with us on the strenuous walks, taking care of the glasses for each celebration. On our less strenuous days it rested, we walked approximately seventy miles over the holiday.
Our Morecambe Bay crossing walk which was for the charity Winston's Wish was cancelled due to adverse weather, so that one is on hold until next year now, (maybe that will be the next adventure for the tea towel, watch this space!!!) As they say now 70 is the new 50 and enjoying fun and fellowship with our families and friends and different interests is possibly the key!
President, Arbury Inner Wheel club
Memories were stirred by recent Club Meeting Speakers. Mark Palmer showed lovely photographs of Old Nuneaton and Brian Johnson told us about nearby country Railway Stations.
More local memories were revived with an interesting visit to the picturesque Elizabethan styled Bedworth Almshouses. Our knowledgeable guide and historian was John Burton and our tour ended in the beautifully panelled Governor’s Hall. We particularly enjoyed seeing three of the residents dressed in by-gone costumes and were privileged to have an invitation to view their flats.
Viewing an exhibition of the history of weaving by Toye, Kenning & Spencer in the nearby Heritage Centre was impressive
A tombola and homemade cake stall was organised at Manor Court Care Home Fetẻ to help boost the Resident’s Social fund and a Coffee morning has been held at a Nuneaton Methodist Church Hall to raise funds for a local Alzheimer’s group to produce personal memory ‘passports’ for their members which contain personal data for sharing within the group.
As well as the monthly meetings we have also found time to have enjoyable visits to Kilworth House Theatre and the Belgrade Theatre. Also a Club social lunch at The Cottage Inn at Fillongley provided an informal gathering and ‘nattering’!
IW Year 2017/18
Chilvers Coton Heritage Centre was the venue on two recent occasions for Arbury Inner Wheel Club. At the first Glenys Gibbs was installed as the new President, receiving the Chain of Office from retiring President Heather Norgrove. Ahead an exciting new Inner Wheel year is planned with not only monthly speaker meetings but with social events too. Glenys hopes that local charities will benefit from any fund raising activities although overseas charities won’t be forgotten. A delicious afternoon tea provided by the volunteers at the Heritage Centre concluded the happy occasion.
Two members of the Club celebrated their 70th birthdays at the Heritage Centre together with most members of the Club. All enjoyed an interesting talk by John Burton about the history of the building plus a member of the flower guild came and demonstrated the art of flower arranging. A fun game of “What do you carry in your handbag” raised a good bit of laughter. Out of fifty items mentioned one member had thirty two and it wasn’t such a big handbag!. Strawberries and cream, tea and cake also went down a treat.
The first Club meeting of the new Inner Wheel year was held at Weston Hall Hotel. President Glenys gave greetings and notices of forthcoming events. Following dinner, Charlotte Kendall, Regional Fundraiser for the Teenage Cancer Trust, gave an illustrated talk about the Charity. Gone are the days when young people are put in the same hospital wards as adults. There are specialist units and plans to create more nearer to the patients’ homes. There is also a need for more nurses and for counselling. The profit from a Coffee morning held at the Nuneaton Methodist Church enabled Glenys to present a cheque to Charlotte for the Charity.
IW Year 2016/17
Conference time again when, along with Robin Hood, the International President and nearly 3,000 members including eleven from Arbury, descended on the city of Nottingham. The mood was set by the song “Always look on the bright side of life” and that was the tone throughout.
(photo: Conference capers with Robin Hood)
Arbury members, together with ‘outworkers’ have been productive again knitting and packing for overseas projects. District International Chairman was pleased to receive 44 blankets, scarves, hats, gloves and baby clothes as well as used stamps and spectacles at the Rally in May.
We were inspired by the talk on ‘Woodland Trust’ by an extremely good speaker in June. She illustrated her talk with slides and there was great encouragement to get out and discover the ‘wonders’ of the wood from trees and flowers to animals, bugs and butterflies.
The icing on the cake to complete a very good Inner Wheel year came on Ladies Day at Leekes Coventry Furniture store. 16 members and friends found it most interesting to hear that the family store originated in Wales and is still headed by a descendant of the original family. We were surprised to hear that there are few stores, mostly in Wales but the Coventry store was started by one of the family who came to live in the West Midlands. Competition time when the group was divided into two, one to decorate 3 cup-cakes each and the other to design a room using anything in the store to tone with a cushion. Good prizes for the winners. At halftime lunch was served, selection of freshly made sandwiches, chips and cakes. It was a most enjoyable day with plenty of time to browse and buy.
The Inner Wheel Year began again in July with a further visit from our furry friend Quartz. Theresa brought him along and explained the way in which he had transformed their family lives. Shopping, holidays and family life now are able to run smoothly without stress and frustration. Her daughter Bethany has Autism and is devoted to the five year old Golden Retriever, an Assistance dog provided by the charity Dogs for Good. Theresa gratefully accepted a cheque
Arbury ladies assisted at a local Care Home Fete providing cakes and biscuits, a tombola stall and a ‘Frog race’ game. The children had more success than the adults at the latter!
Members were most interested in a talk entitled ‘Life and Work’ of a young farmer aged 23. He grew up surrounded by sheep, poultry and dairy cows something which he preferred to life on a tractor. All credit due to him he worked through and gained all necessary qualifications including a university degree to work alongside his father in the family farm.
In October a most interesting talk about Boadicea, Queen of the Iceni, her battles in the local area. Watling Street figured in the attacks, as did Ratcliffe Culey, Merevale, Hinckley and Nuneaton. Work carried out in the 60s and 70s had shown Mancetter to have been a large Roman fort.
The icing on the cake was the Christmas meeting. This was a festive meal where the Arbury Rotarians were invited along to Weston Hall Hotel. In house entertainment was provided by members of Arbury Inner Wheel, directed by an ex Maths teacher, who also performed a very seasonal Nativity monologue whilst the cast was dressing; a ‘Snow White and Reduced Dwarfs’ ‘pantomime’ was produced to great hilarity.
Eight members of the club enjoyed a few days in Glasgow at the Association Conference. After extremely good speakers during the two days, President Trish asked us to wear a plaid sash to dance the night away at her Ceilidh.
Having travelled with the District coach we were treated to a ‘Mystery Trip’ on the last day.
Arbury members and friends have been busy knitting teddies and sewing bags for the School in the Bag project for International Service. These were all brought to the meeting in readiness for their onward journey to be distributed abroad. The 54 smiling faces at the meeting were very impressive and hopefully they will bring much pleasure to their future owners when they arrive at their destinations.
At our fund raising Fashion Show some of the funds were allocated to the Blood Bikers. Warwickshire and Solihull Blood Bikes is a charity run solely by volunteers who transport bloods and other urgent medical samples between NHS hospitals in Coventry, Warwickshire and surrounding areas. They operate every night of the year and all day at weekends and bank holidays when NHS transport has been stood down. They provide support to the medical teams trained to save lives. To keep this vital service operational they need riders, drivers, fund raisers and people to coordinate the urgent calls received from hospitals. They provide training to assist team members in all these roles. They also train riders to an advanced level preparing them for their advance rider test. The web site is: www.wsbb.org
We learnt more about this worthy Charity when two volunteers came to speak at a Club meeting together with a fully equipped bike! The men were great ambassadors for the cause.
February: Members have enjoyed a very convivial couple of months. I guess we are regretting the fact that each event involved the need for an elastic waistband but nevertheless our club activities did not stand still.
Even the ‘Knit and Natter’ held at a member’s home involved lots of biscuits!
Inner Wheel Day was celebrated in great style at a local Sports Club. The profit made will be donated to the Ghurka Welfare Trust to help with their Housing project
Arbury IW members enjoyed a Christmas meal at the invitation of the Rotary Club.
A local farmer afterwards proved to be most entertaining in her account of family life. This included a husband, children and a herd of 150 dairy cows which, come rain or shine had to be milked twice a day. Stilton cheese was for sale at the end of the meeting.
Further festivities were enjoyed at The Cottage Inn where 29 members gathered for another lovely meal. More celebrations, a birthday and the birth of a bouncing 9 .5lbs great grandson!
Our first meeting in the New Year will celebrate International Inner Wheel Day.
I gather it will be attended by all 43 of our members (if none fall by the wayside over Christmas and New Year celebrations!) and will be held at
a local sports club with food purchased from our popular local butcher at a Sports Club.”
The hand crafted beaded tree decorations were snapped up along with other attractive seasonal gifts.
District 6 chairman’s charity of the year, the Oncology Unit at the Birmingham Children’s Hospital will benefit from this very successful event.
It was at our third coffee morning in September that we were able to raise a considerable sum to send to Parkinson’s, the charity adopted by Association President Trish.
Photographs courtesy of the Nuneaton News
The main fundraising event of the year was a Fashion Show where clothes from 'High Street' shops were modelled and available to buy on the night. We provided our own models who played their parts wonderfully. It was a relaxed and friendly evening when the audience picked up numerous bargains and the evening made sure our chosen charities were well supported
District Chairman Jill has selected Hearing Dogs for the Deaf as her Charity for the year.
The District 6 International Charity is the Chinthowa Trust.
The National President, Ann Acaster, has chosen Jessie's Fund (Music helping Children) for her charity.