After a month off, it was FINALLY time to head back to Electric Works for some Seven Hills action. After catching up with familiar faces and meeting a few new ones, the ladies settled into the meeting room for an informative evening of talk.
First up – business! President Garfitt announced her decision to step down as captain of the great ship SHWI in 2015, a post she has kept since she conceived the group back in 2009. There’ll be lots of changes afoot next year, as the committee loses some major players (including another founder member, Kim Whelan, our current Secretary). I don’t think it’s possible to thank these ladies enough for all that they’ve done. I think I speak for all SHWI members when I say we are SO grateful that they set this wonderful group up. But before I start blubbing, I know that the ladies that take on their roles will also do a fantastic job and so while it’s the end of an era, the future is looking bright for SHWI. Our first guest speakers were Katie and Jo from our charity for 2014, Young Women’s Housing Project. It’s great to have representatives from the charities come speak to the group – not only do we find out where the money goes, but it’s nice to know how much the funds we raise are appreciated. The YWHP ladies seemed genuinely surprised and delighted that we had chosen them, courtesy of a nomination by SHWI member, Kat. The ladies explained the money we raised at the Sheffield Food Festival would be used to take some of their young women on a day trip with their children, an opportunity some of them would never have had before.
Our main speaker was Holly Mason from the NHS Blood and Transplant Service – rather fitting for the WI, as our national resolution this year is to encourage people to talk about organ donation. Holly gave us a talk on blood – why we should consider giving it, what we can donate (it’s not just blood! Platelets and bone marrow can also be donated) and where to do it. With only 4% of the population giving blood regularly, it really is something worth considering – not only does it help save the lives of people who have been in tragic accidents, but premature babies, people with sickle cell disease, cancer patients (to name but a few) all benefit from the generous donations of blood givers.
After we’d all learnt a bit about Dracula’s favourite drink, our resident blood expert (and Assistant Treasurer) Dr Leanne had prepared a little bloody themed quiz for the group. Did you know that blood can be used as an egg substitute? Bear it in mind, SHWI bakers! (Actually…perhaps not… brings whole new meaning to red velvet cake!) The winners were treated to some Haribo strawberries (as hearts weren’t available) but the pride of winning was the real prize! We know how competitive these SHWI quizzes can get… If you fancy finding out more about blood donation, check out Give Blood – Do Something Amazing Laura Bainbridge SHWI Committee member