Newly elected president Mrs Judith Stephenson opened the meeting of North Sunderland and Seahouses WI by welcoming all present, especially after our group meeting the previous week, which had been a great success.
She then introduced our guest speaker, Mr Nigel Barlow, on behalf of Northumbria Blood Bikes. Mr Barlow came into the meeting on his up-to-the-minute motorbike.
He gave an interesting insight into the workings of this very valuable charity, the work it does, the vehicles it maintains, the routes and hospitals it covers, and the voluntary staff who carry out this necessary service, carrying blood, specimens, fluids, medicines, platelets, and any other urgent supplies.
He updated us regarding the number of riders, bikes, cars and shift controllers, showed us the tracking devices, and spoke about the necessary ongoing fund-raising.
The charity works in conjunction with other services, such as the air ambulance, police, fire and auxiliary organisations.
He finished his interesting talk by allowing us to sit on the bike and take photographs – absolutely great. The bike was extremely comfortable, although much larger and heavier than we had thought. The approximate cost was £16,500.
Mrs Pat Stewart gave the vote of thanks and we settled down to refreshments before the meeting continued.
The minutes of the previous meeting were read and accepted, also the treasurer’s report.
Future dates include our Strawberry Fair in the Methodist Church Hall, on Thursday, August 24, open to everybody, and an invitation from Embleton to join the group on July 11 for a cookery demonstration, at 2pm,
Ms Pat Minto updated us regarding pub lunches. The last one was at the Apple Inn, Lucker, which had been enjoyed by all. The next one will be on May 27, at the Longstone House Hotel, at 12.30pm.
Future plans include the purchase of a camera, plus a visit in December to a matinee pantomime.
The raffle was won by Mrs Peggy Wood and Mrs Pat Steward, and we were all delighted to learn that Mrs Val Hart had won the Domino Drive at Stannington recently.
The competition Survival Kit was won by Mrs Pat Hewitt and Mrs Carol Phillips.