Village news from Helen Price – 30/5/18


Village news from Helen Price – 30/5/18

Published 26 May 2018

Kings Bromley WI

The WI meeting on 3rd May was very full but enjoyable. The evening adopted a different format to the usual one. There was no speaker as the main purpose was to debate and vote on this year’s resolution “Mental Health Matters.”

The ordinary business issues for the month were discussed first. This was followed by a superb performance by the Village Harmony Choir. They managed to include within 45 minutes 11 songs, each very different in style, but all sung with wonderful enthusiasm and professionalism. The very last song was entirely appropriate, being a nod to the 100 year anniversary of the implementation of legislation that granted the right to vote for (some) women. The choir gave a spirited rendition of ‘Sister Suffragette’ which was originally sung by Glynis Johns in the film Mary Poppins. The lone male choir member, Allan Howard, was just as enthusiastic as his female choristers! Well done to all involved, it was very impressive and enjoyable.

Following refreshments the WI members split into groups to debate the resolution, ‘Mental Health Matters’. (Resolutions are member-led, i.e. they are written by members and voted onto the shortlist by members and each WI gets to cast a vote). Each year around 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem and almost all will face some form of discrimination and stigma including from friends, family and at work. The experience can worsen someone’s mental health problems and impede their recovery. The strategy for the UK is now enshrined in law. There is a legislative requirement on the health service to address the disparity between mental and physical health. In January 2016 the government announced investment of £290 million in specialist care for new mums, £247 million in mental health services in hospital emergency departments and £400 million in community-based services. Since then a package of measures targeted at schools, the work place and local communities has been announced.

If the resolution is passed nationally, a full campaign would be developed by the National Federation of Women’s Institutes enabling pressure to be put on government and local authorities to ensure that all people with mental health problems have access to the support they need regardless of where they live.

After the debate and a quiz to test members’ understanding of some of the main points, consideration was given to how members wished their delegate to vote at the Annual Meeting in Cardiff on 6th June. Kings Bromley WI voted unanimously for the resolution to be passed.

A very busy evening was concluded by a presentation to Viv Leyland, who will be leaving us shortly, after her many years as a member, committee member and former president. Sue Penfold presented Viv with her gift and also vouchers to enable her to enjoy afternoon tea with a guest at Netherstowe House. In a departure from tradition, rather than at the beginning, members ended the evening by singing Jerusalem.