Louise Walker, was originally from Australia, and was a very easy person to talk to. She originally worked as a cleaner, then found that people needed more help in organizing their homes, which would make it easier for them to clean their own homes.
If you would like to contact Louise her contact details are below.
Toast the Queen our Patron and Sing Jerusalem.
Chef Langley will give us a talk about food presentation.
Discuss 2 important NFWI Campaigns:
Women and Girls with ASD and ADHD Under-Identified, Under-Diagnosed and Under-Supported
SEE THE SIGNS: OVARIAN CANCER
Open Water Swimming with Rowan Clarke
Come and listen to Rowan explain all about outdoor, open water or wild swimming which has huge benefits for your health and wellbeing. People swim in Clevedon Marine Lake all year round. But it is very different from pool swimming and it is a good idea to learn how to do it safely.
Quote: "I talk openly about using cold water swimming to manage anxiety and body image issues. Swimming for better mental health and wellbeing underpins everything I do, and I'm passionate about helping people discover the benefits of being outdoors and active regardless of age, background or physical ability. That includes everything from making front crawl smoother and easier for a more relaxed, meditative swim or training for a swim challenge, to supporting mental health treatment with cold water therapy, helping people recover from physical injury, adapting swimming style to a physical disability or helping people stay active with chronic illness."
Alan Freke from Frenchay Museum to join us. Some of you will remember that Alan has previously joined us and was an excellent speaker. His subject this time is "An utterly good man" This is about Frederick Denison Maurice who had the ambition to provide a means whereby women could gain a serious education. He was the first Principal of Queens College London which was the first institute where women could study for and gain academic qualifications. This is very timely as this weekend sees his 150 year anniversary and lots of celebrations have taken place this weekend. Combining this with the WI ethos of educating women this is really apt!
This meeting we had a lovely speaker named Gail from https://www.notgivinin.com/
Gail gave a very interesting talk all about how we purchase clothes, and how we use our wardrobes.
Gail talked about identifying our body shape and talking through which style and fit of clothes work best for us. Considering our lifestyles and what key pieces we need to make our wardrobe more efficient.
We had a questionnaire which was fun.
Come and start dry January as you mean to go on, experiencing an interesting range of non-alcoholic wines and nibbles. This meeting marks our 8th Anniversary since Downend WI started.
Wine Tasting With A Difference. Come along to our January meeting and start as you mean to go on... in Dry January!
Our Guest Speaker is lovely florist Rebecca from Bijoux Floral Design who will be demonstrating making some festive arrangements and ideas for the Christmas table.
Downend WI AGM & Guest Speaker, Clemi, from the Childrens' Hospice South West, and a presentation of handmade crochet & knitted blanket, made by our Yarn Group, was given .
September 28th Meeting, our first meeting in person in Christ Church Parish Hall !
Guest Speaker Katie Bell from the Bristol Hippodrome.
August 31st The Summer Picnic that DID happen !!
Yes, The evening stayed dry, if a little chilly. We all gathered in the childrens' playground, and Pippa ran a quiz which was fun while we munched on our picnics. Great fun!!
July 27th Meeting Picnic that did not happen!!
We still had fun on Zoom !
Lindsey Dixon Barrell (aka Ms Cherry Bombe) from Chelmsford in Essex
WI President Lindsey does a fabulously funny and heart-warming talk that covers how she discovered burlesque, and then the WI, and brought the two worlds together.
From empty nest to huge success, and via dance classes and craft sessions, Lindsey will take you on a journey that a lot of us can relate to.
Incorporating costumes and a demonstration shimmy-along (optional), this is a humorous talk that illustrates how even the most diverse of topics can epitomize the Fun, Friendship and Education ethos of the WI.
We are delighted to have booked experienced Speaker 30 year+ Therapist Chris, will give us easy moves to help with mental health, anxiety and pain.
Self care massage.... Chris showed us points where we can massage and gain some pain relief.
We are delighted to have booked Rebecca Hobbs of Bijoux Floral Design from Chipping Sodbury to be our Speaker.
With over 20 years in the industry, Creative Director Rebecca Hobbs is no floral fly-by-night.
Professionally trained florist Rebecca, founded Bijoux Floral Design in 2005, and has built a floral business recognised for delivering on-trend floral styling and sincere, steadfast service to her brides and clientele.
During this Zoom meeting, Rebecca will demonstrate how to create a beautiful Spring Wreath.
A demonstration with Speaker Chocolatier Sarah Clements of Dame Chocolate.
Sarah will show us how to make a couple of treats that are fairly easy to do at home
Also a ‘how to create other delicious delights!
We were delighted to have announced that her Ladyship, the Baroness Bolsover, gave us a knowledgeable and entertaining meeting instructing us about Afternoon Tea Etiquette, followed by Q & A’s from members.
‘Downend WI with Baroness Bolsover' - Afternoon Tea with a Difference!
A deliciously entertaining and interactive etiquette talk.
Yes, it was our 7th Birthday, we celebrated by having an amazing magician entertain us via zoom. We were really excited to have been able to book Wayne; he has an amazing reputation for delivering a really good act, even on Zoom!
Wayne is based in Croydon, South London, so ordinarily; we wouldn’t have had the chance to book him, so this was really a plus!! He did several tricks, and finally showed us how to do a trick ourselves. Great fun!!
Claire Salmon is a Denman Instructor, who comes from Gloucester. We were taught stage by stage to make cards using scraps of fabric and a sewing machine. Everyone had a great evening, and some members managed to keep up with Claire and produce their own very effective and festive cards.
We had our AGM on ZOOM!!! That was an experience!!
Followed by our speaker Gill Edwards who talked us through the work they do and how they are coping through Covid. For over thirty years, Avon Riding Centre for the Disabled has provided the positive experience and proven therapeutic benefits of horse riding to children and adults with a wide range of complex special needs. Avon Riding Centre is recognised as a ‘Centre of Excellence’ for disabled riding regionally and throughout the UK. The Centre enables around 200 disabled children and adults per week to benefit from a carefully structured programme of riding lessions, amounting to 7,500.
individual rides annually (in a normal year). We found this a very interesting talk indeed.
Wellbeing bags were made by Committee Members Ros and Suzzie, and other Committee Members Julie, Claire, Shelley, Sue, Debs and Pippa delivered the bags, so that our members would have them ready for the zoom meeting. Our committee member Pippa Osbourne headed the Talk about Wellbeing, and also discussed the various items in the bags. Everyone appreciated this very sensitive discussion.
It was decided at the Zoom Committee meeting that we would make August a summer break for everyone. So we did not meet on Zoom in August.
Our speaker Chris Westgate, was borne of a love of cooking, walking and foraging. Heavenly Hedgerows produces award winning gourmet jellies, jams and liqueurs, mostly from hand-picked local wild plants and berries. The business was borne of a love of foraging for wild food, inspired by a free-range New Zealand childhood and the delights of the West Country’s bountiful seasons. This talk was amazing, awesome! We learned so much about the plants that we pass by.
Hola! We had a speaker who will give us taster lesson learning Spanish for our summer holidays, whenever they maybe!.
A lovely lady will be our teacher for the evening, Senora Fabiola Doano who we can call Faby!
Faby runs her own Spanish Training Courses called Let’s Talk – Hablemos! Faby comes from Peru and is a qualified language teacher. Also, we made a recipe for Sangria and Tapas that we made during the session! We gave Faby a very warm welcome., and had a great evening. Muy bien!
The Pandemic was not going to get us down, even though we were all in Lockdown. It was decided that we would celebrate our May Day and V.E. Day as best and as inventive as we could given the circumstances. So we made cakes, of course, hung bunting, of course, and were patriotic, of course, wearing red, white, and blue for our zoom meeting. We still had fun and still continued to smile.
Alyson Hurst is a beekeeper based in Bristol who keeps hives in and around the city. She is focused on making a difference to the environment and educating others on the importance of bees.
She founded Hives & Herbals several years ago to spread her message, but it was a long path to get to her dream job. This was a very interesting talk.
We held a virtual meeting with 8 ladies who had expressed an interest in doing this.
Suzzie Belcher has done a fabulous job of setting up Zoom so this could be achieved, so thanks to her.
Obviously it wasn’t a normal meeting, but it was good to see some familiar faces and make sure that everyone is ok.
This was the beginning of an unknown length of time meeting on zoom. Some of us had never heard of zoom, and some of us didn't want to know. That's okay.
We invited Paul Green, a Boxercise Instructor, to come and talk to us all about Boxercise.
So some of us shook off the winter blues and the cold by having a fun session for all to join in. So we Boxercised our way around the hall (or on a chair) A bit like circuit training but with
boxing style activities. It was great for fitness, muscle conditioning and stress relief! Everyone enjoyed it.
However, there were lots of unsure discussions about Covid, we had no idea of what was to come.