At our AGM each year, members nomimate and vote for a local charity to support through the year through our monthly raffle and cake sales at our meetings, our annual garden party and other ad hoc fundraising events.
Our chosen charity for 2020 is Solace Women’s Aid.
Working across London, Solace exists to end the harm done through Violence Against Women and Girls. Their aim is to work to prevent violence and abuse as well as providing services to meet the needs of survivors.
We began our relationship with Solace by inviting them to deliver “Positive Bystander Training” for our March meeting 2020. Members learnt when and how best to help in any abusive situations they may witness, and when not to get involved directly, but to seek help from elsewhere.
Community Support – Food Bank Collections
At every monthly meeting members are encouraged to bring along a donation for Eat or Heat – the Waltham Forest food bank – so we can help those in our community who are in need.
Donations of canned and dried foods, seasonal treats and toiletries are always appreciated.
Annual Garden Party
Each August we have a break from our monthly meetings and instead we hold our Annual Pimms & Cake Garden Party in Co-President Christine’s magnificent garden to fundraise for our chosen charity of the year.
Wherever possible, we invite someone from our chosen charity along to speak to people about the work they’re doing and how our contributions are helping. We always try to have a cheque available to donate to them on the day from raffle ticket and cake sales to date!
Crafting against coronavirus
In April 2020 we were approached by the local council, Waltham Forest, to ask if our members might be able to help make facemasks for their volunteers who were going out to the most vulnerable in the community to ensure they were kept in food and medicine supplies during the coronavirus lockdown.
We joined forces with neighbouring sisters at Stow Roses WI, also in the borough of Waltham Forest, and within 6 weeks we had satisfied their request and made over 700 masks!
A heartfelt thank you to all involved.
Protecting the public, providing for Solace
Once the local council’s needs for face masks were satisfied, our members were all sent a face mask for their own protection. Some of their friends and family kindly complimented their masks and asked if they could buy one from us. Our crafters kindly agreed to keep making masks and to sell them with all proceeds going to support Solace.
In helping to protect the public, our crafters have helped their own mental health and fundraised magnificently for Solace. We couldn’t be prouder of them.