Valley Wives Reports July & September

From Joan Steel
Several members were away on holidays, so Margaret chaired the July meeting and Janet took notes on the very enjoyable evening, a practical session, organised by Heather Cawthorn on making “Bling Brooches”. After a short demonstration, Heather supplied little cushions for members to decorate with ribbons, buttons, pieces of pretty material, beads and coloured threads plus anything that members had brought themselves. Heather gave help and encouragement. The finished brooches were arranged on a small table and made an amazing display of different designs and ideas. Everyone enjoyed the evening so much that they would like Heather to come again!

Mr Thomas Campbell, our speaker at the September meeting gave a slide talk on “Work Aid”. This project was started by twelve people at an Amersham church, 27 years ago who decided that they had to do something practical to help victims in the Ethiopian famine. The aid given provides refubished tools to enable people living in poverty to work and so earn a living to support a family. Work Aid not only supplies the “Tools for Life” but also ensures that the recipients have facilities for training to make the best use of the equipment. There are now over 200 volunteers, from all walks of life, who collect and refurbish tools for woodwork, metalwork, sewing machines, knitting equipment, drills, lathes, horticultural impliments, electrical equipment etc. Instruction is given to new volunteers and work is done to a schedule of requirments. Sixty represenatives in different parts of the country collect the refurbished goods, clean, test, check to prove that things are fit for purpose and pack equipment to ship to approved vocational projects in many deprived areas all over the world. The interesting slides showed the tools being used by men and women in remote villages. It is possible to have a guided tour of our local work centre and small shop (open Thur. ri and Sat 10am-4pm) in Chesham at the Old Boot Factory, which has work space of 1,400sq ft on 3 floors. Goods that are not required for projects, or not suitable, are sold or recycled. Volunteers enjoy the comradeship, and a chance to use their skills to help others. Finally “Work Aid “needs you, your unwanted tools, also your financial help. Several questions were asked about this very valuable and well organised charity. Heather proposed the vote of thanks.

On 4th October we have our 47th AGM and supper. Please bring cutlery, plate and glass also a £4 wrapped gift.