Tuesday 20 October 2020

October news...

It seems such a long time ago since we last.  We had hoped that the easing in restrictions early this year would mean we would be able to meet again in the hall.  However, we continue to be advised that we are not able to meet in our normal way.

This being said, the Committee have been working hard to come up with ways to offer an opportunity to get together in these challenging times.
Within COVID guidelines, we are able to arrange a Theatre Walk with Show Of Strength Theatre Company.
Join us on Monday 9th November at 6.30pm (not our normal Wednesday slot) for an historical tour with a difference. We may not have been able to meet properly since lockdown, but we have organised a special private Theatre Walk with Sheila from Show Of Strength Theatre Company. Show of Strength have re-booted their amazingly successful and highly acclaimed theatre walks for the autumn/winter season, and we are delighted to invite our Malago WI members to join us for "Blood and Butchery in Bedminster".
"Bedminster — where graves were robbed by body snatchers, and corpses buried in concrete coffins. Where the old Chinese laundry vanished years ago, and where ‘laundering’ now means money, big money, 13 million, ‘laundered’ through a Bedminster bank. Where criminals were sentenced to hang in public, their cadavers flayed, their skin tanned and made into……the answer is in BLOOD AND BUTCHERY IN BEDMINSTER".  
We'll begin at The Ropewalk, on Bedminster Parade and end at The Hen and Chicken, where those of us who are thirsty can stop for a socially distanced drink and some pizza. Those of us who wish to take their leave can do so. The tour will last approximately 1.5 to 2 hours.
This event is free for members and spaces for guests may also be available.  If you would like to join us please email wearemalagowi@gmail.com by 2nd November to reserve a space.
If you are looking to step back in time and remember a time pre-COVID, the Bristol Civic Society have gone through the archives when Bristol was a different place!  Enjoy Bristol’s Big BangWills at One and those early days of working in an office, with face to face meetings?!?

Monday 22 June 2020

June news....

It’s hard to believe that here we are in early June still in lockdown though things are easing slowly…
We hope that you are all finding ways to cope with all the uncertainties and restrictions for yourself as well as family and friends. Many people and communities have come together in amazing ways and let’s hope some of the positives continue.
Some of us are still going to work, learning to work from home or volunteering as well as maybe battling with home schooling. Others may have found themselves suddenly at home with time to fill and looking for ways to keep busy.
Until we can all meet up in the hall we would be interested to know if you would like to take part in some smaller group Zoom meetings, though we appreciate it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. If so let us have an idea of topics or activities that would be of interest e.g. a book club or a craft session?  Or we might be able to hold some smaller social bubble activities like some guided walks or a picnic in a park? Please email wearemalagowi@gmail.com if you would be interested to take part or have any suggestions.
There are lots of online opportunities and zoom classes which might be of interest to our members. For example, The Bristol Arts Channel has just launched with free to view performances from some of the city’s amazing arts venues.
Sewing for the NHS and front line staff
Some of you joined in making wash bags, scrub hats and knitted hearts.  Do let us know what you made and whether you made us the Brislington WI drop-offs or made your own arrangements. 
What have you been doing in Lockdown
We thought it might be fun to collectively document what we have all been doing over the past few months.
We are hoping to create a short film that chronicles the activities of our members during lockdown. We’ve been inspired by Grayson Perry’s Art Club, and so it would be lovely to compile some photos and film of the things you’ve been up to! Think Tony Hart’s Gallery!
Have you been creative during lockdown? Perhaps you have completed a piece of sewing, or created a work of art? Maybe you’ve been trying out some new recipes or perhaps you’ve had success growing something amazing in the garden or allotment? Whatever it is, we’d love to share it with our members.
If you have photos, or better still, a few seconds of film, showing your art/project, lease do send it to Geri, our treasurer, at Geri@debutots.co.uk with a little bit about what you’ve been doing and why you are particularly proud of it.
If you are not camera shy then by all means film yourself explaining - that’s even better! Ensure your film is in landscape if at all possible (turn your phone sideways) and no longer than a couple of minutes. Otherwise it gets difficult to send!  The Committee has put aside being camera shy and have put together a video to explain what to do, what we are looking for and to inspire you!
Geri will put all the contributions together and edit a short film, which we will all be able to enjoy.  It will be a sort of chronicle of what we’ve been doing during these strange times.
Contributions need to be received by Wednesday 29th July, so whip out your smartphone and get filming!
Future meetings
We have been advised by WI Federation that face to face meetings are not possible for the time being so we have been thinking about what activities and projects we might be able to arrange in the meantime as well as planning for when more normal life returns.
The NFWI has been very concerned about the disruption this lockdown period has had on WI meetings and activities and the membership experience this year. Consultations with all federations have taken place to discuss ways in which this can be acknowledged in the membership subscription this year.
Therefore, they will be offering a three-month extension to this year’s membership subscription. The next renewal date for membership subscriptions will, therefore, be 1st April 2021.
As soon as we can meet again we hope to reschedule some of the speakers/session we had to cancel over the last few months as well as some new topics. We also want to plan for a really fab social event towards the end of the year which we can fund from events that have had to be cancelled.
We look forward to hearing from you, finding out more about what you have been doing during lockdown and planning  ways we can continue to stay in touch and meet again when circumstances allow.
Stay safe and well.

Thursday 19 March 2020

March meeting cancellation

It seems a very long time ago since we were making window stars with Laura from Colourful Minds.  As always, it was lovely to be able to sit, chat and get creative with friends old and new.
The landscape in the UK has changed significantly since then and it with great sadness that we have to cancel the next Malago WI meeting on Wednesday 25th March and future monthly meetings until further notice. This is based on Government Advice to delay the impact of Covid-19.
We want to help to mitigate the impact that the lack of social engagement will have on our community, especially those who are more vulnerable or in self-isolation. So we want to ask you to send us recipes, ideas for projects, ideas for future meetings or share stories to give us all a lift during very uncertain times.  We can share these in our newsletter and via social media.  Please send these to wearemalagowi@gmail.com
Self-isolation can very challenging and lonely, so if any of you would like a chat with one of our friendly committee members, then please let us know.  If members would like to support others in this way, let us know and we can help to make a connection.
It is not clear when we will be able to resume our normal activity, but we will keep in touch and support each other in uncertain times.
Take care and stay safe.

Sunday 16 February 2020

February news....

Thanks to everyone who joined us for the first meeting of 2020.  It was lovely to see new and familiar faces who joined us to hear about the amazing work undertaken by Dogs for Good.
During the dark and cold nights, it always helps to bring some colour into the house.  We are delighted to be joined once again by Laura Humpage from Colourful Minds who will be showing us how to make window stars. Laura will be providing all materials for a bit of creative therapy.
Colourful Minds run art and craft workshops for kids and adults in Bristol. Set up by mum of two, Laura, to teach and explore creative skills in relaxed and informal settings. Laura has a degree in Textile Design, worked as a freelance designer maker then worked at Watershed Media Centre for 8 years before setting up Colourful Minds in 2015. She now works in schools and venues all over Bristol providing affordable and accessible art and craft workshops for all ages.
We look forward to seeing you on Wednesday 26th.

Sunday 19 January 2020

January news...

We hope that you have all had a lovely Christmas and New Year break.  It seems a long time ago since we last met in the hall, being inspired by Rachel Heaton to create our own ‘Bristol Rocks’.
It is not always easy to persuade yourself to get out during dark and cold winter nights, but we hope that will be able to join us to learn about a great cause.  Dogs for Good is a charity that trains assistance dogs to support adults and children with a wide variety of disabilities and conditions to live full and active lives in the community. Their dogs bring independence to people by taking on many practical tasks, such as retrieving items, helping them get dressed and opening doors. As well as the practical help our dogs provide, the emotional support they give is unparalleled.
Rosie Blanning will talk to us about Dogs for Good and the amazing things their dogs do to help adults and children with disabilities live more independently. She will also talk about the various volunteering opportunities within the organisation and how Bristol residents can get involved with the charity and even look after our puppies!  We also will have a chance to meet one of their dogs, Norton, so will be able to see first-hand how amazing these dogs are.
As it is the start of the year, it is time for membership renewals.  The membership fee for 2020 is £43.  As part of this membership you get 11 meetings per year including 1 summer outing (sometimes 2), a monthly copy of WI Life, WI member benefits and a book of handy vouchers when you join.  It’s helpful for existing and new members to arrive a bit earlier so we can start the meeting on time.  Payments can be made in cash and cheques payable to Malago WI.
If you have any unwanted Christmas presents, please bring them along and we will raffle these off to raise money for future meetings and outings.
We look forward to seeing friends old and new on Wednesday 29th to celebrate the start of another year of exciting events.