At the end of July, a group of 13 (WI members and husbands) visited Longfield. It was a most interesting trip and we were all very impressed with the beautiful gardens and facilities for those people facing a very difficult time of their lives. The thoughtfulness and understanding that had gone into the whole establishment was very apparent. We had a lovely cream tea and a chat and came away feeling that we were so lucky to have such a wonderful facility in our area.
For over ten years Traidcraft has been buying raisins from Chile. Mifruta is one of Traidcraft suppliers of raisins….those wonderful dark, juicy raisins that are in Geobars, muesli and chocolate covered raisins.
As many readers will know, the Country Fayre – held every two years – used to be a regular and enjoyable feature of life in Minchinhampton.
For a number of reasons, the Fayre has not happened for a couple of years, but the Minchinhampton Life group are working on plans to revive it and have settled on Saturday 14 September 2019 as the provisional date for a new and reinvigorated event.
They will be holding a public meeting (everybody welcome) in the Market House on Thursday 11 October at 7.30 pm to discuss their plans. Please make a note of this date and come along if you can.
Traidcraft first introduced coffee to the UK in the early 1980s. Called ‘Campaign Coffee’ it came from Tanzania and tasted very basic. Traidcraft now travels the world to find the best coffee beans and our coffees now come from Nicaragua, Peru, Honduras and Malawi to name a few places.
According to legend, coffee was first discovered in the 9th century when Ethiopian goat herders noticed that their goats appeared to jig and dance about after eating wild coffee beans!!
At our May meeting, we had a discussion on this year’s National WI Resolution – ‘Mental Health matters as much as Physical Health’. We all voted in favour of the resolution despite a general feeling that it was also being discussed at great length by other authorities!
Following this we had three excellent short presentations by members entitled “What you don’t know about me!” It was amazing to hear the variety of topics ranging from family life abroad, a precarious entry into the world and parents long distance cycling exploits! We were all so fascinated that we felt it was something we will do again and could organise very quickly if we were let down by a speaker.
The Foodbank Warehouse is situated at Brimscombe Port. The Warehouse contains all the donations for the Foodbank from individuals, schools, churches and supermarkets etc in our area. Here it is sorted, also by use date, documented and prepared for distribution to Foodbank drop-in centres in Stroud, Stonehouse, Dursley, Wotton and Nailsworth, also to any organisation identified as supporting disadvantaged groups eg. MARAH, Women's Refuge, Nelson Trust, Salvation Army, Arc House, etc. Schools also will receive an allocation for families with children during the holidays who have been identified by the school as needing help.
Following hard after an incredibly busy spring, the Foodbank has had a rela-tively quiet summer. July is often a quiet month and this has been the case this year also. We hope that the warm weather has helped our clients.
You may have seen plenty in the news about Holiday Hunger and families potentially struggling over the school holidays. After consultation with headteachers in individual schools, the Foodbank has provided for the past 2 years holiday food bags for around 70 primary school children from 9 schools. This proactive approach is designed to help those who might find it a pinch over the holidays and allow them extra budget for some nicer things in the holidays. We have been well supported again by Rotary Clubs who deliver the bags and by our volunteers who make up the bags in between all other duties.
The quieter months have allowed us some time to get prepared for the busi-est months of the year. The new Harvest Shopping List can be found in the Minchinhampton Church weekly Pew sheet.
PLEASE help support your Foodbank with food and funds this Harvest. This transforms lives.
Elsewhere in this issue, you will find an informative and interesting article from Jo Smith about her visit to Masasi, Vumilia and Nkokoto. The Link is grateful to Jo for making contact with Stima, Nkokoto villagers and the primary school during her hectic travels in Tanzania and for bringing back news of happenings in the village.
I have been in contact with the Headteacher of Nkokoto Primary School, Mr. Michael Theodos (pictured below, in the striped shirt). He took over the headship of the school when Joyce retired in 2017. He is a relatively young man and had been at the school for several years before being appointed Headteacher. We were thrilled to learn that Nkokoto School is one of the highest achieving primary schools in the Urambo District. We were also very pleased to learn that four of our students, whom the Link has sponsored in the past, have passed their exams and have moved on from Vumilia Secondary School to High Schools to complete their A level exams. The Link did not hesitate when asked to pay their fees and accommodation costs.
We had an excellent meeting in July when Jon Mason of Highfield Nurseries came to speak to us on perennials, giving advice on when to buy and plant them. He filled three large tables with a lovely selection of plants. The most interesting fact I learnt was that water from the Duck Pond at Highfield was used (after filtration!) to water all the plants in the Nursery – under normal English summer conditions!
Many of you will have seen (and bought!) some of the lovely wax candles that are sold through Traidcraft. Wax Industri Nusantara are based in Ngawi, East Java in Indonesia. It is a smallish factory employing 50 workers, mostly women, in an area where unemployment is high. Rather than investing in machinery, they deliberately employ local people to make the products by hand even though using machinery would make the factory more productive.
Besides providing job opportunities, there is a programme of training for staff, good working conditions , fair wages and free health care benefits.
The factory has also installed solar panels to produce electricity and they collect rain water to use in the production process.
Wax Industri are advocates for handmade products. Handmade means more hands, more artisans, less unemployment and a happier village.
All their products are made from 100% natural palm wax, which contributes to the sustainable production of palm oil. The candles have a pure cotton wick, a solid colour wax , a clean burn and no artificial fragrances . Look out for the candles on our stalls.
Our next stall is Sunday July 22nd after the service in the Porch Room.
If you forget your money or maybe you will be on holiday, then download an order form.
Jackie Natt 01453 731018.
Our June meeting was well attended and we soon dealt with the business details so that we could listen to our speaker Mr Pete Tiley.
Pete is our local Neighbourhood Warden who, having set out a table full of "goodies", proceeded to talk about personal safety and his role as Warden. He told us of the numerous problems he covers. He liaises with the Police as well as the Dog Warden and relies on the public to contact him about local problems. For example - abandoned cars, dog fouling which can carry a fine of £75, litter again with a fine of £75. Fly tipping is also a large problem and this carries a greater fine. He also deals with low level anti-social behaviour and drug use, bogus callers, hate crime and bullying and many more problems.
We have had a very enjoyable year at the Art Group and there was a big change after the departure of our Chairman, Elaine Grainger, who moved to Wales. Several of the more recently joined members joined the committee and Sue Dixon and Jill Harwood became joint Chairmen, backed up with a very enthusiastic team. We were grateful that the former Chairman, Brian Dowling, volunteered to remain on the Committee, as his years of experience were very valuable.