An amazing service
It was a good start to the autumn/winter season for Alnmouth WI as we had a full house of members, as well as visitors.
Sue Ellis, who was in the chair as Janis was exploring Rome, together with her side-kick, our secretary Yvonne, started the meeting.
Various notices of up and coming events were read out, in particular information regarding the Hotspur Group meeting on October 26, which this year our WI branch is hosting.
The theme is to be Spanish, and Outcook, from Alnwick, will be demonstrating and making canapés, etc, so, together with a suitable Spanish atmosphere and the occasional burst of flamenco music, it sounds very promising.
Tickets are available from members’ own WI branches and we look forward to the evening very much.
Yvonne read out quite a lot of what is going on within the Federation, but all is listed on the newsletter for further details.
Two items mentioned which were important and applicable to our WI because of needing to order and book, were, for the former, WI diaries and calendars, and the latter, our trip to Edinburgh by train on November 29, which were luckily sorted out before the cut off date. There appears to be a lot to catch up after our summer break.
Another item was our informal coffee morning, which this month is today, Thursday, September 15, and will be at the Village Grocery Store, in the coffee shop at the rear, from 10.30am.
The lucky birthday girls drawn by Yvonne were Lorna Ternent for August and Hilary Buckley for September.
During our meeting, two fine looking gentlemen were waiting patiently, and perhaps looking a little confused in the midst of our members, but after being introduced by Sue all was revealed as they were at our meeting to tell us all about the Northumbria Blood Bikes, a subject quite a few of us were not really aware of.
It appears they are ‘gentlemen of the night’, known as the Northumbria Blood Bank Bikers, their hours of duty being from 7pm going on to 7am.
Their task, which is purely voluntary, involves delivering blood and urgent clinical supplies out of hours between healthcare sites, laboratories and clinics in the North East, covering Northumberland, Tyne and Wear and County Durham, for the most part on motorbikes.
Blood Bike groups across the country seek to carry out this service free of charge, ensuring the limited resources of the NHS can be used elsewhere.
It is a charitable organisation, relying entirely on donations and fund-raising – truly amazing – but to be honest a good portion of our members had just a very vague idea of their existence.
Their presentation was excellent, as is their commitment to this cause.
It is the importance of what they do that is mind-blowing, as with blood being on hand so quickly it gives the medical team a fighting chance to help those in need of blood.
The organisation does have a website under the name of Northumberland Blood Bikes, which gives you a real picture of what it does and is well worth looking up.
Just an add on, the speakers brought one of their bikes to our meeting, which was a great success, showing us their mode of very fast transport, which some of our members tried out in a stationery position, of course, but they can dream.
Sue Ellis gave an excellent vote of thanks on our behalf, and after much discussion and digesting of what we had heard from the Blood Bank representatives and our usual mug of tea, accompanied by cream scones, the meeting ended.
The speaker for our October 3 meeting is Stephanie Yearnshire and her subject is Historic Murder.