More photos may be found by clicking on the date of the meeting.
Former Hampshire police officer Jackie Dimmock entertained us with amusing stories from her time on the force, accompanied by a beautiful quilt!
Pamela Hart from P D Originals entertained us with the deceptively complicated art of book folding. As it was near Valentine's Day we made a heart, and the finished results look great!
Tony Howe, a Blue Badge guide from Windsor, described the fascinating details behind King John and the history of the Magna Carta.
During the lockdown, we were able to hold our meeting via video conferencing. Marion Dante described her life in a convent.
Adam Scott-Goulding, a London Tour Guide, led us on a virtual walk around Piccadilly, showing us wonderful pictures of the buildings and telling us amusing anecdotes of the characters who shaped the area.
Kelvin from Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance described the work of the charity and how they have adapted their services to improve the outcome for patients.
We heard from Jenny Nockolds about her trip to Northern Thailand where she spent a month living with a family and helping a village look after several herds of elephants.
Tamsin Westhorpe, a freelance writer and curator and gardener of Stockton Bury Gardens, Herefordshire, gave us a fascinating talk about her time as editor of English Garden magazine. She described what made a good front cover, and amazed us with the sheer amount of preparation work that goes into each edition.
Karen Crooks, founder of local business Sunflowerstitches, which is based in Ash, took us step-by-step through the process of making a paper globe. A lovely tutor leading us in a fun activity!
1st October 2020 - Tom Way, Wildlife Photographer
Tom entertained us with some of his superb photographs on the theme of Wildlife on Your Doorstep. He described the lengths he goes to when capturing stunning images of British wildlife - standing for days in freezing water waiting for a water vole to immerge from its hole, or crawling through long grass in pursuit of young foxes. My personal favourite was placing peanuts under piles of autumn leaves to entice a woodpecker!
Local florist Julie Hare, from Daisy Chain Florist in Sandhurst, took us step by step through creating this stunning arrangement for a Christmas table centrepiece.
Following the demonstration we covered the business of the Annual Meeting - all the reports had been sent out by email and members voted online.
9th December 2020 - Light-hearted Quiz
Just for a change, we held a light-hearted quiz for our December meeting. Due to the restrictions, it was held over Zoom, with members taking part in their households. We realised how hard it was not to be part of a large team when answering questions!
WI member Clare Wong spoke to us about her job as a community nurse, looking after children with tracheostomies and on ventilators. Clare described the different positions she has held which led her to this current role, and about the issues that the children and their families face. It was a fascinating to learn about the different types of equipment each child requires and we could only begin to imagine how hard it must be for the parents.
We were entertained once again by Adam Scott-Goulding from London Walks, who took us on a virtual tour of Rock & Roll London. Fascinating stories, great photos and some live music thrown in - something for everyone!
10th March 2021 - Citizen's Advice Surrey Heath
Camberley WI welcomed Kate Sawdy, the CEO of Citizen’s Advice in Surrey Heath to our March meeting. Kate gave us a fascinating insight into the work of this amazing charity, staffed mainly by volunteers who provide advice on housing, benefits, debts, employment and much more. She talked about the history of the national Citizen’s Advice service, which was formed just after the outbreak of World War 2, and initially provided help with rationing, conscription and contacting relatives overseas.
We learned how the 40 volunteer advisers who run the office in Camberley are trained in a wide range of different subjects, have access to a large database of information, and have to keep up to date with changes in legislation. The events of the last year have inevitably meant an increase in questions about debt, employment rights and furlough and advice is currently given by telephone or email, but they hope to resume their walk-in sessions soon.
Kate gave examples of real problems faced by today’s clients, and talked about how rewarding it was to help people - overall her talk was both moving and inspirational.
14th April 2021 - Neal's Yard Organic Remedies
We had a lovely “hands-on” Zoom session in April, when local consultant Tanya from Neal’s Yard Organic Remedies took us step by step through the process of making our hands feel beautiful! After a rather gross look at the dead skin on the back of our hands (yuk!), we applied a simple scrub made from oil and sugar, making sure to reach all the areas between the fingers. We then popped them in a plastic bag under a warm towel for a few minutes to let the mixture soak in. Once clean, we applied a wonder product made from the seeds of wild rose-hips on our cuticles - this was quite waxy in appearance, smelled completely different from how I'd imagined and only a tiny amount was needed to nourish the nails. The next product we'd been given in our sample packs was Frankincense hand serum - this was very lightweight and rubbed in easily, although the smell wasn't to everyone's taste. Frankincense is obviously like marmite (!) but we learned that it is obtained by tapping the bark of certain trees, letting the sap which appears dry on the tree, and then harvesting it as crystals. Finally we gently rubbed in the wonderfully scented Bee Lovely hand cream, which gave off aromas of honey & orange. What a fantastic treat! Tanya was an excellent presenter, and said that the same routine could be applied to our feet, so we'll be ready for wearing sandals when the warmer weather comes!
12th May 2021 - Emma Kennedy
Camberley WI were left in stitches at our May Zoom meeting, when local celebrity Emma Kennedy described bizarre incidents from her life – we learned how a snog at a village disco had led to bad A level results, and what not to do if a skunk is eating your hair!! She described different decision points which had shaped her career, and how an inspirational English teacher had given her the motivation to never give up. Emma explained that after failing to get the necessary grades to go to Oxford Uni, and then spending a few months doing menial jobs, her former teacher had mentored and inspired her to try again, which ultimately led to a career as a lawyer. However, although successful, she wasn't happy, so gave it all up to become a writer, much to her Mother's horror. Many years of hard work and setbacks followed but she is now well known in celebrity circles, having authored several novels, written for and appeared in TV comedy series, and regularly appearing on TV panel shows - she won Celebrity Masterchef & Celebrity Mastermind, and has recently appeared on Pointless and Only Connect. Emma kept us entertained with amusing anecdotes, underlined with the more serious message of learning from life's failures.
9th June 2021 - Blood Runners
Katie from SERV South and London described the work of this amazing charity who transport blood and other medical products around the South East. The dedicated volunteers work through the night to ensure that hospitals never run short of supplies, many of them using their own motorbikes and cars.
Some of the team have regular deliveries to keep the Air Ambulance stocked, or transferring blood products to Kent & Sussex from the central blood bank in Tooting.
One biker won admiration from the family of a premature baby whose parents weren't allowed to be with her as they were isolating due to Covid. Ray picked up frozen breastmilk from the Mum and delivered it every few days to the Special Care Baby Unit.