Astbury Women’s Institute.

Our 1st January meeting kicked off in style with a good turn-out of over 32 members arriving at Astbury Village
Hall. Margaret Pearson, our President, welcomed everyone – the weather was so cold – and we all sang Jerusalem. Apologies were given as there was a small number suffering from flu bugs and were unable to attend.
Margaret Pennington was thanked for bringing some beautiful primulas for the President’s Table. Next, birthday buttonholes were handed out to the following ladies who have January Birthdays – Margaret
Hockenhull, Jenny Fagin, Cath Cunliffe & Margaret Pearson. Cath Cunliffe made the gorgeous buttonholes and was thanked. This is the first time Cath has made them and she will continue to do so for this coming year.
Minutes for our previous meeting were read, followed by Catherine Pedley giving the Treasurer’s Report on the financials. Lisa Spencer went through details of forthcoming trips, including one organized by the Dane Valley Group which is a 4 night trip to the Scottish Borders booked in for September Costing £410pp.
A speaker has been arranged at Lower Withington on 10th May at Goostrey Village Hall given by Sheila Johnston which is ‘ Growing up with The Beatles’: tickets are £5.00 and there will be a list put out asking anyone if they wish to attend.
Mention was made of the wonderful Carol Service held at Swettenham Church in December which was lovely. It did actually snow, which really made everyone feel Christmassy. Mince pies and coffee & tea were served in the church after the event and everyone who attended thoroughly enjoyed it.
Our Guest Speaker this time was Miss Beckie Morley, who came to talk to us about Dementia Friends and take us through what excellent work she does visiting Care Homes and talking about her business which is called ‘Musical Moments’. She went through what a Dementia Friend Workshop does – how talking about it and actually discussing dementia can help to reduce the stigma surrounding diseases like Alzheimer’s. Beckie is passionate about this as her nan had dementia and she is keen to spread the work and get people talking about it to raise awareness. She said that dementia is not a natural part of ageing as younger people can also get the disease and it is a disease of the brain.
We discussed different types of dementia and learned that there are over 250 different varieties,and that it’s important to understand which type is which. Beckie talked about the reason why it’s so important to understand which it is so that support can be given to the person and understand them and also give love. All were invited to turn our understanding and love into action by becoming a Dementia Friend which is the UK’s biggest ever initiative to change the way people think, act and talk about dementia. We can pledge and sign up to the Forget-Me-Not Appeal, and there are several things you can do to help such as volunteering for an organization that helps people with dementia, Wear the badge and tell 5 people about the Dementia Friends initiative, Find, raise, learn to deliver these sessions that Beckie delivers. All this talk will assist in everyone becoming more aware and understanding the disease. Beckie as ‘Musical Moments’ visits elderly people in care homes all over Cheshire and further afield as music can affect people’s lives.
Feelings and emotions are strong, and hearing music can stir up memories from the past. Beckie is a very talented musician and she proceeded to play us some well-known tunes on her violin followed by her ukulele. We sang songs from the popular film Mary Poppins – ‘Tuppence a Bag’ along with other firm favourites.
Our competition this month was for a ‘twiddle muff’ and Beckie judged our competition.
God Save the Queen was sung and then everyone departed for home, looking forward to our next meeting on 7th February at Astbury Village Hall at 7.30 pm.
We do welcome members new and old and if you are interested and would like to come along and see what we are all about do please come along or contact Kate Burrow 07769 933887. You can also follow us on Facebook.

Kate Burrow.