De Beauvoir WI has been actively involved with our local Domestic Violence Charity for five years now. When we were able to meet monthly we collected and donated toiletries to Solace Women’s Aid. In January 2021 we took on the Solace 40 challenge which was to walk, run or cycle 40 miles in January, a mile for every refuge run by Solace in London. We walked over 225 miles and raised £1500. We also raised £270 and collected gift cards and gift sets for the women and children in the refuge at Christmas.
Also in January, Lynn Brooks, an ex nurse and member of De Beauvoir WI, felt so helpless watching the exhausted medical staff gallantly carrying on despite their mental and physical fatigue and the danger to themselves and their families that she decided she wanted to do something to help.
She chose to create homemade goody bags to help lift the spirits of workers at the local hospital, Homerton University Hospital, in Hackney, inner city London, to be given out at the end of their shifts.
They are filled with little thoughtful gifts, a homemade thank you card made by local children and artists, a heart shaped lavender bag, some hand cream, all put together in a handmade drawstring cloth bag, to express our appreciation and send some love.
She enlisted the support of her sisters in De Beauvoir Women’s Institute and other in the community, to help make this vision into a reality. She started a funding campaign and raised over £4000 in six weeks to fund buying provisions and materials.
Together we are proud to have worked to produce and deliver our 450th bag to the hospital to date. We are aiming to produce 1000. Lynn also enlisted the help of local sewers that had joined De Beauvoir WI in making scrubs during the first lock down, to taking up the task of creating pretty drawstring bags and lavender hearts in the second.
We have continued to run our monthly meetings on Zoom, so far this year covering bespoke embroidery from Zara Day who featured in WI Life, a celebration of Chinese New Year in February and veganism in January/Veganuary which included (although later than planned due to the January lockdown) a vegan brownie hand delivered to all members which was hugely enjoyed by all.