FEDERATION NEWS 2021

The following guidance is applicable from Monday 19 July. From My WI

NFWI meeting guidance:
in line with the roadmap out of lockdown

We realise that each WI is an independent charity operating within our national federated structure. As such each WI can, by a committee decision and member vote, decide on its own interpretation of the Government guidelines; however the suite of documents prepared by NFWI provides you with the national position and guidance to support your decision making. This is NFWI’s position based on our interpretation of the Government guidance and it is our strong recommendation to use this to support your planning. Please do bear in mind that if you do choose to take a different position then you must document this clearly with minutes of any meetings where this was discussed along with details of the actions being taken to mitigate any identified risks.

Please note this guidance is in line with the lifting of the majority of legal social restrictions in England from 19 July. Please be mindful that Covid-19 is still with us and the potential for spikes in cases with subsequent impositions of greater social restrictions for specific areas or the whole country continues to exist.

It is the responsibility of each federation and WI to keep up-to-date with local restrictions if planning meetings. Stricter local rules or a total lockdown will always supersede NFWI guidance.

NB Where “you” or “your” is used in this document to make it easier to read it refers to all WI members.

Where “we” is used it refers to NFWI.

Thank you to all federations and WIs for how much effort has been made to adapt the membership experience to online and offline activities such as virtual meetings and speakers, and providing activities through meetings in a bag. We would like to ask WIs to continue to consider providing an element of online activities for those members who have found a benefit from virtual activity during the Covid crisis and who would continue to appreciate the greater accessibility this gives them.

1. Wales

From Saturday 17 July Wales will complete the move to alert level 1:

  • Up to 6 people can meet indoors in private homes and holiday accommodation.
  • Organised indoor events for up to 1,000 seated or 200 standing can take place, subject to a risk assessment and taking reasonable measures.
  • Ice rinks can re-open.
  • Remove the legal restrictions on the number of people who can gather outdoor.
  • Allow up to 30 children from organisations, such as the Brownies and Scouts, to attend residential centres over the summer holidays.

From Saturday 7 August (if conditions allow):

Complete the move to alert level 0:

  • Remove legal restrictions on the number of people who can meet indoors, including in private homes, public places or at events.
  • All businesses and premises can open, including nightclubs.
  • People should still work from home wherever possible.
  • Face coverings will remain a legal requirement indoors, with the exception of hospitality premises. This will be kept under review.

1.2 Meeting indoors

Current guidelines for Wales states that up to 1,000 people can meet indoors for a seated organised event and 200 for a standing organised event. NFWI-Wales has interpreted this as WIs can hire a suitable venue such as a community centre (or use their own premises if they have one) for WI meetings and activities.

Very important: The venue will have operating guidelines which must be adhered to such as one way systems, staggered arrivals and departures and socially distanced queues. Along with this it will be each WIs responsibility to ensure that social restriction rules and safety measures are in place.

Minimum safety measures that must be in place

This includes whether you are meeting as a federation or WI:

  • Wash hands frequently / use hand sanitiser.
  • Wash your hands when you return home.
  • All attendees should bring their own hand sanitiser. The organiser must also bring a spare hand sanitiser.
  • Keep social distancing in place.
  • Face coverings must be worn inside (some people will be exempt).
  • We recommend that face coverings are worn outside at WI events until all attendees have established social distancing.
  • Keep indoor venues ventilated (keep a window open).
  • Keep a register for NHS Wales Test Trace Protect.

1.3 Travel within Wales

There are no travel restrictions in place within Wales. This means that you are allowed to travel anywhere within Wales for any purpose. This includes overnight stays in self-contained accommodation with members of your household or extended household.

Travel in to and out of Wales

There are no restrictions in place for travel into and out of Wales. People living in Wales do not need a reasonable excuse to travel outside of Wales, as long as they are travelling to a country within the UK or wider Common Travel Area (CTA). Likewise, people living elsewhere in the CTA can travel into Wales. However, people will need to check the restrictions in place in the country they are travelling to or from as some countries within the CTA have travel restrictions in place that may prevent people travelling unless they have a reasonable excuse.

2. England

From 19 July

England is now on step four of the roadmap out of lockdown. This means there is an end to most legal social restrictions and WIs can meet in-person in full numbers.

This is very good news and we hope that all our members can enjoy coming together again. We thank you for your patience, resilience and inventiveness over the last 16 months. You are all truly inspiring and a testament to the spirit of the WI.

There are some precautions that need to be taken into account and some safety measure which still need to be in place which the Government outlines on gov.uk and which this guidance will go through.

Changes from 19 July:

  • No limit to the numbers of people who can meet either indoors or outdoors.
  • No requirement to social distance.
  • Face coverings are no longer mandatory but are advised for crowded spaces.

2.1 Precautions and safety measures that must be in place: 

  • While any number of people can meet indoors for meetings and activities it is still safer to meet outdoors if practical. When meeting indoors please make sure your meeting space is ventilated. This can be as simple as opening windows. Partially opened is fine as long as fresh air can circulate around the room.
  • Please make sure members are continuing to clean their hands regularly. This can be hand sanitising or hand washing. Please make sure there are facilities for members to wash their hands in indoor venues. Please remind members to bring their own hand sanitiser as well as providing a hand sanitiser for all. This is for both indoor and outdoor meetings but especially important for any outdoor events.
  • Make it very clear that any members or visitors who have any Covid-19 symptoms must stay at home. Please be aware that this may increase the possibility of speakers or demonstrators having to cancel at short notice and factor this into your meeting plans. Please see below for more information on Covid-19 symptoms.
  • If you have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or NHS Wales Test Trace Protect you must do so.
  • Make sure frequently touched surfaces and/or surface that are likely to be touched by many people are regularly cleaned.
  • Continue to carry out risk assessments as working to ensure an event is as safe as possible is a legal requirement. It is also recommended that records are kept of any safety planning in case decisions are questioned in the future. Risk assessments are best practice as they help with both planning and record keeping. Please see below for more information on risk assessments.
  • If you experience any Covid-19 symptoms you must get a PCR test. If you test positive and have attended an in-person WI meeting or activity within the last seven days you must inform the Secretary or President.

2.2 Best practice:

  • NHS Test and Trace is no longer a legal requirement but it is recommended best practice. Please continue to keep a register of members and visitors at meetings and events. Please see below for more details.
  • While it is no longer mandatory to wear face coverings / masks  indoors the Government has stated that face coverings still provide protection and help reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission. Those members who still wish to wear face coverings indoors or outdoors should not be questioned about their decision.
  • Please be aware that face coverings make communication more difficult in general and this impacts people with hearing needs. There is more information available from the National Deaf Children’s Society and here are five tips for communicating with people who lip read from Deaf Unity.
  • It is recommended that members carry out a rapid lateral flow test before attending a meeting to ensure they are not unknowingly infected with Covid. (It is still possible to catch Covid-19 even if you have been vaccinated).

3 Risk assessments further information

If you are simply meeting as a group of friends, even if the entire group are WI members, then you do notneed to carry out a risk assessment.

You can find a blank risk assessment in Appendix A and a completed example in Appendix B* .

Please make sure you complete any identified actions for safe meetings. Health and Safety Executive (HSE) information on risk assessments is available here.  Please remember that as well as continuing to think about Covid related risks all potential risks should be assessed such as trip hazards. Copies of the risk assessments must be sent to the committee for final authorisation and filing.

4 Vaccines

Very important: The vaccine programme has started and many members will now have received vaccinations. Please remember that, at the same time, some members will not have received the vaccine. Some may not have been invited for one yet, some may not be able to have a vaccine on medical grounds and others may not be comfortable having a vaccine.

The Government has introduced a ‘NHS Covid Pass’ which proves you have been double vaccinated. These are currently for international travel only. The Government has asked that organisers of ‘large scale events’ such as music festivals and ‘higher risk settings’ such as nightclubs ask attendees to show a NHS Covid Pass. However it is not compulsory for attendees to show a pass when asked. There are no current plans for Covid passes to be used for smaller scale events. For these reasons WI members and visitors should not be asked if they have been vaccinated in order to gain entry to an in-person WI meeting or activity.

The Government has stated that it reserves the right to review Covid passes and whether showing them will be compulsory in the future. We will continue to monitor this and take any changes into consideration in our guidelines for members.

Please remember that safety measures such as ventilating your venue and washing hands must still be in place and these have been designed by the Government to reduce the risk of transmission as much as possible regardless of whether a group has had vaccines or not. Please remind your members of this for reassurance.

For more information on the NHS Covid Pass including how to get one see here.

For more information for members in Wales please see here.

5 More information on NHS Test and Trace (England) and NHS Test Trace Protect (Wales)

Keep a record of everyone who attends a meeting. This is in case you need to provide details for a NHS Test and Trace procedure (In Wales this is Test Trace Protect)

  • Make sure it is dated.
  • Have a page for visitors and speakers (if applicable) where they add their contact details. People do not have to leave their contact details if they object but make sure you note this on your records.
  • Keep this document safe according to GDPR rules e.g. keep in a locked drawer or password protected if electronic.
  • Make sure all attendees understand it will be used for NHS Test and Trace / Wales Test Trace Protect if necessary.
  • Make sure it is kept for 21 days.
  • Never attend meetings or visit a vulnerable member if you have been advised to isolate by NHS Test and Trace / Wales Test Trace Protect because you have been in contact with a case of Covid-19, even if you feel fine.

For more information about the administration of NHS Test and Trace, including what to expect e.g. what number this service calls you from, please click here.

For more information about Wales Test Trace Protect, please click here.

6 More information about Covid-19 symptoms

  • Make it clear membersvisitors and speakers must stay at home if they have any of the Covid-19 symptoms – list what these are and send out a reminder, ideally on the day of the meeting, so that members are fully aware of their responsibility.
  • Make it clear members, visitors and speakers must stay at home if they are self-isolating due to symptoms in their household.
  • Make it clear all attendees, including visitors and speakers, must inform the WI if they develop Covid-19 symptoms within seven days of attending a meeting.

If you are informed of an attendee becoming unwell you must contact all attendees and let them know. They will need to check the government’s information on NHS Test and TraceWales Test Trace Protect or call 111 in England and NHS 111 Wales (currently available in the following health board areas - Hywel Dda, Powys, Aneurin Bevan and Swansea Bay - including Bridgend). If you are outside this area, please call 0845 46 47.

  • Never attend meetings if you have been advised to isolate by NHS Test and Trace because you have been in contact with a case of Covid-19.
  • If you need a test but are having problems with the internet or you do not have the internet call 119.

7 Including all members

Remember to consider members who may not feel comfortable meeting in person yet. Please continue to keep them involved in the various ways WIs have been supporting their members such as by providing meetings in a bag, phone calls, pen-pal schemes, and actions they can do from home to support local causes such as baking for a foodbank etc.

Do also consider whether you need to keep an element of virtual meetings and activities going forward. This will help keep your WI accessible and open. It will support members who cannot attend physical meetings or who joined during the pandemic because you ran virtual activities. More information is available on My WI.

8 Annual Meetings

Following a member-wide consultation the Constitution has been formally updated to allow for hybrid Annual Meetings. An updated Constitution is available on My WI

In the meantime, should you have any questions about holding your Annual Meeting, please contact your federation in the first instance. You can also contact the Membership Team membership@nfwi.org.uk

We wish all our members well and thank you once again for all your efforts to keep your WIs active. Please enjoy getting back together again and feeling confident to open up your WIs. Adapting to this new world and learning to ‘live with the virus’ has been and will continue to be invaluable for the future of the WI and without our members there is no WI.


The following Appendices are also available:

*Please note this is meant as a starting point to help highlight the kinds of risks you may need to think about. Each WI must assess its own risks, some of which will be unique to them.


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NFWI resuming meeting guidance

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19/07/2021

HEREFORDSHIRE FEDERATION OF WI'S OPEN GARDENS

SUMMER 2021

Please see below information about these open gardens. Jane, Maureen, Margaret and Debbie (and families) have worked hard to get the gardens together It would be wonderful if this event was well supported.

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21.

21 August is Dursley Cottage

12 September is a Sunday

Creative Arts Competition No.5


Painting challenge - Summer is here!

Using acrylic OR watercolour paint focus on one particular flower you enjoy seeing at
this time of year and create a painting, it can be of any size.
Name the flower and say why you enjoy seeing it. Examples here….

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Email an image of your finished piece with your name and WI to sjwalker253@gmail.com

Closing date 31 July. HFWI entries only please.

We do have a federation Zoom presentation on 30 June at 7pm from Alice May Tomkins which
could help you/inspire you with this competition challenge.
Please contact margaret.norbrook@gmail.com to join the presentation which is FREE.

Public Affairs and Campaigns News Sheet

July 2021

Target: Make July plastic free

How could you try and achieve this target?

Here are some simple ways you can try to help save the place we all call home. If everyone
does just a few of these we can make a big difference.
Do not buy anymore plastic bottles/containers as the following are available plastic free.

Shampoo bars and conditioner bars
Bamboo toothbrushes
Toothpaste in glass jars or chewable tablets

Mineral salt deodorants
Wash up with natural sponges made of walnut shells or coconut husks
Use soda crystals for limescale removal
Go to zero waste shops to fill up your own containers
Use beeswax wraps for food
Ask your local butcher to wrap products in paper
Make your own yoghurt
Cut up old net curtain to make airy bags for fruit and vegetables
Use matches for lighting candles and not lighters as they can't be recycled
Save left over sauces in jam jars in fridge
The latest government figures reveal we have used an astonishing NINE BILLION less single
use plastic bags since the bag charge was introduced in October 2015 as a result of a
campaign by Keep Britain Tidy. This is an amazing 83% reduction and enough bags to wrap
round the world more than 100 times.
Single use plastic bags are an environmental disaster, particularly if they get into the ocean, so
this reduction is helping to make a measurable difference to the amount of litter that ends up on
our streets, in our parks and on our beaches and, ultimately, in our oceans.
CAW Rural women in action
Worldwide campaign highlights the following: -
80% of plastic pollution in the ocean comes from land sources.
Every minute the equivalent of one truck of plastic is dumped into our seas.
Most plastic waste breaks down into microplastics making clean-ups more difficult.
These microplastics are then ingested by baby fish, leading to early death for the fish
and falling fish stocks.
Climate Ambassador

One Easy Switch to Save the Planet

Peat bogs, from which peat is extracted, are amazing – they are the UK equivalent of
the rain forest – they absorb and retain greenhouse gases and lock in billions of tonnes
of carbon. They help to prevent flooding – acting like a sponge to soak up rainwater
and release it more slowly. Peat bogs also filter 25% of the UK’s drinking water and in
itself, peatland is a precious landscape – it supports a wide range of increasingly rare
flora and fauna – potentially to be lost forever.
But the damage being done to peatland is extensive. The vast majority of peat bogs in
this country are now damaged and instead of holding on to the carbon they store,
collectively they release 20 million tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere
annually. To put this into context, a return flight to New York produces 1 tonne of
carbon dioxide.
So why do we persist in draining peat bogs to extract peat? Well, quite simply, to meet
the demand for compost -did you know that home gardeners account for a staggering
69% of peat usage in the UK? We use a total of 3 billion litres of peat in our gardens
every year. That’s enough to fill 1200 Olympic sized swimming pools. If we stopped
asking for it, there would be no market.
Most of us who still use peat think we have to - that the use of peat in horticulture is a
time honoured tradition – it isn’t. It didn’t really become widespread until the 1950s.
Before that we used a mix of soil, sand and charcoal but peat is lighter, so cheaper to
transport and therefore more profitable to sell. Peat actually isn’t even particularly good
for growing plants – it contains little to no nutrients so will always require additional
fertilisers to be applied, providing minerals and nutrients that would already be present
in soil based compost.
So, what can we do? Actually, as individuals this is an area where we can all make a
difference. Very easily. Don’t buy peat based compost. End of. Always ask for a peat
free alternative because if it doesn’t say “peat free” clearly on the bag, the compost
WILL contain peat. Bear in mind also that most potted plants, herbs and mushrooms,
are mostly grown in peat.  So, ask! Make the garden centre/supermarket etc aware that
you want peat free products. The more we ask, the more the message will get through!
And finally, let me leave you with a quote from David Morris, the RSPB area manager
for Cumbria and North East.
“The presence of peat in compost should be as unwelcome as lead in paint – is it
worth wrecking the planet just so you can grow some petunias?”

Next issue
The next news sheet will be SEPTEMBER when we will be highlighting the GBGW, Great Big
Green Week, which is 18-26 September.
Please email sjwalker253@gmail.com any items you wish to share for the next news sheet
which will be sent out to members via secretaries in the last week of August.

21.6.2021 Information on My WI

NFWI meeting guidance:
in line with the roadmap out of lockdown

The following guidance is applicable with immediate effect.

We realise that each WI is an independent, federated charity. As such, each WI can, by a committee decision and member vote, decide on its own interpretation of the Government guidelines. However, this is NFWI’s position based on our interpretation of the Government guidance. Please do bear in mind that if you do choose to take a different position and ever need to justify your position, there are no NFWI documents you can refer to.

Please note this guidance only applies to those areas of England and Wales that have Covid-19 restrictions placed on them. If you are in a part of the country which has no or few local restrictions then you can act in accordance with your local circumstances.

It is the responsibility of each federation and WI to keep up-to-date with local restrictions if planning meetings. Stricter local rules or a total lockdown will always supersede NFWI guidance.

NB Where “you” or “your” is used in this document to make it easier to read it refers to all WI members. Where “we” is used it refers to NFWI.

Following a third national lockdown for England and Wales the easing of social restrictions slowly started to be put in place from 8 March: “the roadmap out of lockdown”.

Thank you to all federations and WIs for how much effort has been made to adapt the membership experience to online and offline activities such as virtual meetings and speakers, and providing activities through meetings in a bag. We would like to urge WIs to continue to adapt and provide a valuable membership experience.

Very important: following the Government’s announcement on 14 June the final easing of social restrictions has been pushed back. These will now be happening on 19 July at the earliest. This means that Wales will continue to follow the rules from 7 June and England will continue to follow the rules from 17 May.

1. Wales

From 7 June:

Wales has moved to alert level 2
Please note the guidance below relates to WIs, if you wish to see details about the restrictions in Wales more generally please click here.

Meeting outdoors

Up to 30 adults can meet outdoors in private gardens, public outdoor spaces such as parks and in the outdoor spaces of ‘regulated premises’, such as cafés, pubs and restaurants. It is safer to meet people outdoors.

Meeting indoors

Up to 30 adults can meet indoors for an organised activity in ‘regulated premises’ (not a private home).

Please note the group number limits and venue guidelines are in line with the advice on wales.gov stating that:

“Gatherings of more than thirty people (not including children under 11 from the households or carers of a member of these households) are also permitted in order to attend organised activities [now usually referred to as ‘regulated gatherings’].

Regulated gatherings…must be organised by a …charitable…institution, a club or…organisation, or the national governing body of a sport or other activity. The organiser (the WI or federation) of the activity must meet requirements in the regulations to undertake a risk assessment and take all reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to and spread of coronavirus…”

Minimum safety measures that must be in place

This includes whether you are meeting as a federation or WI:

  • Wash hands frequently / use hand sanitiser.
  • Wash your hands when you return home.
  • All attendees should bring their own hand sanitiser. The organiser must also bring a spare hand sanitiser.
  • Keep social distancing in place.
  • Face coverings must be worn inside (some people will be exempt).
  • We recommend that face coverings are worn outside at WI events until all attendees have established social distancing.
  • Keep indoor venues ventilated (keep a window open).
  • Keep a register for NHS Wales Test Trace Protect.

Travel within Wales

There are no travel restrictions in place within Wales. This means that you are allowed to travel anywhere within Wales for any purpose. This includes overnight stays in self-contained accommodation with members of your household or extended household.

Travel in to and out of Wales

There are no restrictions in place for travel into and out of Wales. People living in Wales do not need a reasonable excuse to travel outside of Wales, as long as they are travelling to a country within the UK or wider Common Travel Area (CTA). Likewise, people living elsewhere in the CTA can travel into Wales. However, people will need to check the restrictions in place in the country they are travelling to or from as some countries within the CTA have travel restrictions in place that may prevent people from travelling unless they have a reasonable excuse.

Please see the details of the resuming meeting guidelines under England for more information about safety measures etc. Please remember that where maximum group sizes are stated to apply the guidance for Wales. Thank you.

2. England

From 17 May:

England remains on step three of the roadmap out of lockdown. The end of social restrictions has been pushed back to 19 July at the earliest.

The following restrictions remain in place:

Meeting outdoors

Up to 30 adults can meet outdoors in private gardens and public spaces such as parks allotments and woodlands. Groups can also meet outdoors on the grounds of public venues such as pub gardens. It is safer to meet people outdoors.

Meeting indoors

Up to six adults can meet indoors in private homes or public spaces such as cafes, community centres, cinemas, shops and large event venues.

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­As part of step three, community centres were able to re-open for a limited number of purposes.

From gov.uk: “…indoor events that bring people together - even if they do not mix with other households - must not run until Step three [17 May]. This is only permitted if there is an explicit exemption…”

There are no exemptions for WI meetings. For details of exempted indoor events please see gov.uk here.

For federations and WIs that own their own halls and have or wish to reopen there is further information in Appendix G.

3. Practical guidelines for meeting in a maximum of six indoors or 30 outdoors (WIs in Wales can meet in a maximum of 30 indoors or outdoors)

Risk Assessments

When planning a WI activity you must carry out a risk assessment first. We will be referring to WIs meeting in groups of up to six people indoors and 30 outdoors (Wales is up to 30) as “Breakout Groups” as they are an adaptation to the legal restrictions on the size of social groups.

If you are simply meeting as a group of friends, even if the entire group are WI members, then you do not need to carry out a risk assessment.

You can find a blank risk assessment in Appendix A and a completed example in Appendix B*.

Please make sure you complete any identified actions for safe meetings. Health and Safety Executive (HSE) information on risk assessments is available here. Copies of the risk assessments must be sent to the committee for final authorisation and filing.

Vaccines

Very important: The vaccine programme has started and many members will now have received vaccinations. Please remember that, at the same time, some members will not have received the vaccine. Some may not have been invited for one yet, some may not be able to have a vaccine on medical grounds and others may not be comfortable having a vaccine.

There are currently no laws or government guidelines restricting entry to services on the basis of whether or not someone has had the vaccine or whether they can prove they have had a negative test. If this changes we will take this into consideration in our guidelines for members. At the moment members are currently not asked personal questions as part of the joining process, and should therefore not be asked about whether or not they have had the vaccine.

Please remember that safety measures should still be in place and these have been designed by the Government to reduce the risk of transmission as much as possible regardless of whether a group has had vaccines or not. Please remind your members of this for reassurance.

Insurance

Please check with your federation and WI insurer to see if you are covered when hosting meetings in your garden before organising to do so.

Minimum safety measures that must be in place

This includes whether you are meeting as a federation or WI:

  • Wash hands frequently / use hand sanitiser.
  • Wash your hands when you return home.
  • All attendees should bring their own hand sanitiser. The organiser must also bring a spare hand sanitiser.
  • Keep social distancing in place.
  • Face coverings must be worn inside (some people will be exempt).
  • We recommend that face coverings are worn outside at WI events until all attendees have established social distancing.
  • Keep indoor venues ventilated (keep a window open).
  • Keep a register for NHS Trace and Test.

Face coverings outdoors

The government only stipulates face coverings are worn indoors. However, NFWI recommends all attendees going to outdoor meetings arrive at the meeting wearing face coverings and do not remove them until the required social distancing is in place.

  • Please remind members to sanitise their hands before removing their face coverings.
  • Some members may feel more comfortable keeping their face coverings on even though you are meeting outside.
  • Some people will not be wearing face coverings for health reasons e.g. disabilities or mental health – please ask members to let the President know beforehand if they are unable to wear face coverings. Please deal with this information sensitively. Let members know that those who can wear face coverings are expected to do so, and please do not enquire about individual exemptions other than your own
  • Please be aware that face coverings make communication more difficult in general and this impacts people with hearing needs. There is more information available from the National Deaf Children’s Society and here are five tips for communicating with people who lip read from Deaf Unity.

NHS Test and Trace (England) and Test Trace Protect (Wales)

Keep a record of everyone who attends a meeting (including in your garden). This is in case you need to provide details for an NHS Test and Trace procedure (In Wales this is Test Trace Protect)

  • Make sure it is dated.
  • Have a page for visitors and speakers (if applicable) where they add their contact details. People do not have to leave their contact details if they object but make sure you note this on your records.
  • Keep this document safe according to GDPR rules e.g. keep it in a locked drawer or password protected if electronic.
  • Make sure all attendees understand it will be used for NHS Test and Trace / Wales Test Trace Protect if necessary.
  • Make sure it is kept for 21 days.
  • Never attend meetings or visit a vulnerable member if you have been advised to isolate by NHS Test and Trace / Wales Test Trace Protect because you have been in contact with a case of Covid-19, even if you feel fine.

For more information about the administration of NHS Test and Trace, including what to expect e.g. what number this service calls you from, please click here.

For more information about Wales Test Trace Protect, please click here.

Managing Breakout Groups of six or less (indoors, England) / 30 or less (outdoors England and Wales)

Please group together your WI into groups of six / 30 or less. Allocate a committee member to each group as a Breakout Group Leader. If your WI needs more Breakout Group Leaders please create a team of additional Leaders who will be allocated to the remaining Breakout Groups. Please do not swap members or Leaders into different groups for different meetings.

Keep the Breakout Groups set to the same people to minimise the risk of virus transmission. There is more information available in Appendix C: Breakout Groups additional information.

Booking places

As there are very strict number limits for social gatherings it may be useful to have a booking system in place.

  • All Breakout Group Leaders can invite potential attendees with an RSVP. It is up to you to decide how this is communicated.
  • Be clear about how you want to be responded to. Do you prefer e-mails, calls, texts etc. to book a place?
  • Give a date to respond by.
  • Check your agreed form of communication e.g. e-mail – remember to check junk mail.
  • Confirm places.
  • If they cannot attend, members must cancel their place in advance wherever possible.

Very important: Booking systems must make sure the maximum number possible is six or 30 as appropriate. If a speaker will also be attending then adjust the number of places to make room for them in the maximum number.

There is further information about booking places under Appendix D: visitors and new members.

  • Make it clear membersvisitors and speakers must stay at home if they have any of the Covid-19 symptoms – list what these are and send out a reminder, ideally on the day of the meeting, so that members are fully aware of their responsibility.
  • Make it clear members, visitors and speakers must stay at home if they are self-isolating due to symptoms in their household.
  • Make it clear all attendees, including visitors and speakers, must inform the Breakout Group Leader if they develop Covid-19 symptoms within seven days of attending a meeting.
    If you are informed of an attendee becoming unwell you must contact all attendees and let them know. They will need to check the government’s information on NHS Test and TraceWales Test Trace Protect or call 111 in England and NHS 111 Wales (currently available in the following health board areas - Hywel Dda, Powys, Aneurin Bevan and Swansea Bay - including Bridgend). If you are outside this area, please call 0845 46 47.
  • Never attend meetings if you have been advised to isolate by NHS Test and Trace because you have been in contact with a case of Covid-19.
  • If you need a test but are having problems with the internet or you do not have the internet call 119.

Remember to consider members who may not feel comfortable meeting in person yet (in Breakout Groups). Please continue to keep them involved in the various ways WIs have been supporting their members such as by providing meetings in a bag, phone calls, pen-pal schemes, and actions they can do from home to support local causes such as baking for a foodbank etc.

Do also consider whether you need to keep an element of virtual meetings and activities going forward. This will help keep your WI accessible and open. It will support members who cannot attend physical meetings or who joined during the pandemic because you ran virtual activities. More information is available on 

My WI.

Annual Meetings

Following a member-wide consultation, the Constitution has been formally updated to allow for hybrid Annual Meetings. An updated Constitution is available on My WI. Should you have any questions about holding your Annual Meeting, please contact your federation in the first instance. You can also contact the Membership Team membership@nfwi.org.uk.

We wish all our members well and look forward to when WIs can meet in full again. Thank you very much for all your efforts to keep your WIs active.

The following Appendices are also available:

*Please note this is meant as a starting point to help highlight the kinds of risks you may need to think about. Each WI and Break out Group must assess its own risks, some of which will be unique to them.


DocumentVersionLast updated

NFWI resuming meeting guidance

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18/06/2021

FREE ZOOM MEETING
AN INTRODUCTION TO ACRYLICS WITH ALICE MAY
WEDNESDAY 30 th JUNE 2021 @ 7.00pm

Log in details: ID: 895 1618 5760 : Passcode: 9rajuX
What you will need to follow along:
1. Acrylic paints: The colours include:
 light green,
 emerald green or a bright mid green
 Hooker’s green or a dark forest green
 titanium white
 process magenta bright pink
 silk purple or a light/mid pink
 cobalt blue or a mid-blue
There’s no need to stress about specific colours, using whatever you have to hand is
absolutely fine. 
2. Standard stretched canvas
OR
A thick piece of cardboard painted with a layer of white acrylic paint
(must be prepared before the class)
OR
Acrylic textured paper if you have this.
3. Brushes
A variety of widths. Alice loves using a 2-inch decorator’s brush, but the standard
brushes from an art shop work well too.
4. Pencil/pen - optional
5. Pallet or dish - optional.
6. Water in a jar
7. Cloth to wipe dry brushes
8. A cover for your clothes and work surface – acrylics won’t come out of fabric.
Further information:
The demonstration will break down the different stages of the painting from blank canvas to
finished piece, with several breaks for questions.
Painting along whilst watching the demo is possible, but you may find Alice works very
quickly due to time constraints. Many groups video the session for distribution later so that
you can have a go at a slower pace. Some stages will need to dry before moving on to the
next. A handy hair dryer (cool setting) might be useful to speed drying up, if you wish.
Please remember to mute your microphone if you do use your hairdryer at any point.

29.5.21

CHANGE OF HFWI FINANCIAL YEAR END

As you know, NFWI have altered the subscription year to run from 1st April until 31st March each year – three months later than that previously set.  However, the accounting year in Herefordshire currently runs from 1st October to 30th September.  This obviously means that the accounting year would be out of kilter with the subscription year by six months.  With this in mind, the Trustees and WI Advisers have discussed this and agreed that the accounting year should be brought back into alignment as previously, i.e. a three month gap, which allows time for finalisation and examination of the accounts prior to the Annual Meeting.  Therefore, we are asking all Herefordshire WIs to hold their Annual Meetings in March each year instead of November (as at present).  In addition, we are asking all Treasurers to run this year’s accounts for fifteen months - from 1st October 2020 through to 31st December 2021.   Subsequently each year’s accounts will run from 1st January until 31st December.

The benefits of this change are that:

The original timescale between financial year end and Annual Meeting is maintained.

Treasurers will not have to cope with having their accounts completed, audited/examined and ready for presentation to members prior to the run-up to Christmas, which we all know is a busy time.

Those auditing/examining the accounts will have more time available to carry out the process prior to Annual Meetings.

Holding Annual Meetings in March instead of November will, hopefully, encourage more members to attend – in March the weather should be improving and there are more hours of daylight, making it much easier to get out and about.  Also, should there be a third wave of Covid-19, it is more likely to be in the winter.

We hope that Treasurers and, indeed, members will welcome this change.  If anyone has any questions, please contact WI House and we shall do our best to help you resolve any issues you may have.

Jacqui Woodhouse

Vice Treasurer

01.02.2021

What does my subscription fee include for 2021/2022?

Subscription Fee poster

20.01.21 CLIMATE AMBASSADOR

Herefordshire Federation has a new Climate Ambassador, Christy Crouch, Longtown & District WI. Christy has a new page exclusively for Climate Ambassador Announcements.

10.2.21 Zoom Speaker List

With grateful thanks to Carole Donovan of the Unofficial WI Facebook group who has compiled this list of speakers from information sent in from WIs and speakers themselves.  Feel free to download this to your computer for reference.  It will be regularly updated.

Zoom Speaker List

02.01.2021 News from NFWI

Pro-rata subscription rate eligibility

NFWI are delighted to announce a change to the former pro-rata subscription rate ineligibility period of 10 years. Following feedback from members and very careful consideration by the Board of Trustees, this ineligibility period has been reduced to 1 year.

The aim is to maintain the function of having an ineligibility period for former members so WIs are not disrupted by individuals switching their membership on and off while bringing in the most welcoming and encouraging approach possible for our former WI members who wish to re-join. This will also support WIs wishing to reach out to their former members and invite them back – helping to retain as many members as possible.

This will come into action from 1st April 2021 so it can be active and applied throughout the next pro-rata year.

There are so many life events that can lead to women feeling they have to give up their WI membership, such as moving house, new career, becoming a mother, periods of debilitating illness, increased demands on time due to caring etc. We know that many of these members would like to re-join as soon as they feel able to and their WIs want to be as accommodating as possible to help them do so. Reducing the pro-rata ineligibility period to 1 year will we hope be a very practical and impactful way of enabling WIs to offer this understanding and support.

There are a few elements we want to clarify that you may get questions about:

  • This only applies from April 2021 going forward (no retrospective refunds or arrangements can be made for former members who re-joined before this date).
  • The rules on dual membership remain the same. Dual members only pay the WI portion to their second WI so there is no pro-rata rate for this.