Reigate Evening WI - Annual Report 2017 

The Reigate Evening WI has had a very active 2017 which started with a fabulous New Year meal at a local French Restaurant. In January we welcomed a representative from East Surrey Domestic Abuse, who provided us with an insight into the work they do in the local community.  ESDAS was subsequently chosen by members at the February meeting as one of the 2017 charities we would be supporting through fundraising.  A visit to RHS Wisley was also enjoyed, along with a trip to see the local cinema event of the Bolshoi Ballet. The first coffee morning of the year was arranged, and became a regular feature throughout the year.

The guest visitor to our February meeting was Shelagh Sheldrick, the Information Manager from Macmillan Cancer Support, our chosen charity for 2016.  Shelagh thanked us for the supply of fresh flowers provided to the Centre each week by a number of our members on a rota basis and for the £1,283.29 cheque being the money raised by us through our fundraising activities during the previous year.  We also enjoyed the first Lunch Club meet of the year (a regular monthly lunch date!) and a walk at Polesden Lacey.

In March we had a talk from the Recycling Officer from our local council who provided some interesting facts and information about how rubbish is divided, sorted and set on its ‘onward journey’.  We also attended the SFWI Quiz Evening, lunch at The Clink at High Down Prison, a meal out at a new Reigate restaurant and a theatre trip in London to see The Girls.

April bought the first of the lovely sunny weather to Reigate and we were joined by a representative of our second chosen charity of the year, DeCaf, part of the Live at Home Scheme, to talk about the work they do and who they are able to support in the community.  April also saw us touring the Surrey History Centre in Woking and going on a theatre trip to see Funny Girl. We were invited as guest judges for the scone and jam competition at the Earlswood Carnival in support of the 2nd Reigate Scout Group.

At our meeting in May members enjoyed a quiz evening as well as a discussion about the two NFWI resolutions, Alleviating Loneliness and Plastic Soup.  A number of members supported the MHA Live at Home Scheme by running a plant and cake sale stall at their Spring Fair.  All funds raised went directly to DeCaf.  Two members were invited to join the newly formed Downview Dames at Highdown Prison WI for their craft morning.  Members donated pieces of craft and jewellery which the Dames uses to create exquisite handmade craft items to sell. Members also donated various items for the ESDAS summer fair.

In June we were joined by Melissa Constantinou who gave us a talk on her experience of living in Japan. Several members also got into the sporting spirit and enjoyed a blue badge tour of the All England Club, Wimbledon. We visited the Natural History Museum for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition and several members attended the Surrey Federation ‘Celebration of Summer’ talk.  Members arranged a collection of recent magazines to donate to local good causes and doctor’s surgeries.  3 members also attended the ‘Talk with the new SWFI Board’.

We were joined by Ann Lovelace from the Orpheus Centre at our July meeting, together with Luke an ex resident who had been supported by the team.  They told us about the work they do and Luke performed three wonderfully moving songs he had composed himself.  This was another busy month for Reigate Evening WI.  A trip to Woodbury Cottage, a beautiful local open garden, was arranged with members providing a wonderful buffet meal afterwards in a member’s house.  We arranged a trip to see Andrew Rieu’s Maastricht Concert at the Harlequin Theatre and received an invitation to join the MHA Live at Home Scheme for their 20th birthday party event attended by the Mayor, where we helped with the refreshments.  Our Treasurer confirmed that we have charity status and we transferred from the Leith Hill Group to the Jubilee Group.

In August, we celebrated our Summer Social with ‘A Magical Summer Evening’ where we decorated a local village hall and arranged a big bring-and-share buffet which was enjoyed by all. Some of our members visited Clarence House in London, quite an experience. 

September’s meeting consisted of ‘Head to Heels Health Talks’. We were joined by three professional healthcare providers who gave us advice on skincare and beauty, nutritional therapy and podiatry. We also enjoyed a Tea and Cake afternoon get-together at our local vineyard, Denbies.

In October we celebrated our 6th birthday with a bottle tombola which was very successful, raising £88 for our two annual charities. We were joined by Nesta Joliff who gave us an animated talk on exhibiting at the Chelsea Flower Show amongst others.  35 members visited Denman College for a cookery demonstration, a guided tour of the premises and we were provided with a lovely lunch and a cream tea. One of our members held an open studio day at her art studio to raise funds for our chosen charities.  We submitted our 2 pages to Surrey Federation  for next year’s special centenary celebrations and our thanks go to Suzy for providing us with such a wonderful pen drawing depicting our logo and all our various activities and groups.

For November, we have arranged a tour of the Orpheus Centre. There will also be a Vintage Afternoon Tea and a social event with the Jubilee Group at Priory Farm where we will see a demonstration of making Christmas decorations and enjoy tea together with other WI members.

We will also be attending the Downview Dames WI Christmas Sale in early December and a Christmas trip to a local garden centre has also been arranged.

Our members have, throughout the year, continued to support the local food bank and also donated coins towards the ACWW fundraising.  This money was handed in at the Surrey Federation Meeting at Dorking Halls in October.  As you can see we have had a very busy year and very many thanks must go to those members who helped with our meetings and arranged our varied and enjoyable activities.

REWI Committee

Community Web Kit provided free by BT