Craster WI, January meeting

FORCES HELP: We barely had time to recover from our trip to Edinburgh to see Hairspray when it was time for our January meeting.

Craster WI were disappointed to learn that the long-standing relationship between Taylors of Harrogate and the WI is coming to an end this year. We fully understand the reasons why it has happened and many of us will continue to buy Yorkshire Tea. We are looking forward to the promised goody bag.

Members then cast their votes for the 2011 resolution. We will have to wait to see how Craster’s votes compare to those cast nationally when we find out what cause is to be promoted.

Our speaker this month was Brian Finlayson a volunteer worker for SSAFA. Although its name is perhaps less well known than that of one of the younger charities which helps servicemen SSAFA has in fact been helping and supporting those who are serving or have served in our Armed Forces for over100 years.

During this time it has worked in conjunction with the MOD and other professional bodies to make a real difference to the lives of these servicemen and their dependants. SSAFA spends money where it is needed.

Many of the eligible people have housing-related needs which involve complex issues of a practical and an emotional nature. The ensuing welfare issues form a significant and important part of SSAFA’s role.The provision of a wet room can make a great deal of difference to the independence of an injured ex-serviceman and result in raising of morale.

Brian Finlayson told us many heart-warming studies of local families that had been helped by SSAFA.

All of the work that Brian carries out is done on a voluntary basis and many people have cause to be truly grateful to him. He is an entertaining and engaging speaker who certainly achieved his aim in raising the profile of this charity.

We have introduced a new theme for our monthly competition this year. Trish Flegg won the competition for a white object with a spectacular conch shell.

We look forward with interest to see what our ingenuous members come up with over the next few months. We would also like to express our thanks to Sheila Dixon for organising the trip to see Hairspray and hope she will consider doing something similar again. Sister Act anyone?