Visit to Butterfly Garden

Gloucester In early September, 19 members of the Inner Wheel Club of Cirencester were welcomed by President Judy as they gathered at the Butterfly Garden. The group was welcomed by a volunteer member of the staff who explained how they gave employment to people who would not otherwise be able to be employed in industry but were able to work successfully at their own pace. There are many different aspects of work for the members and as a result, their families have free time themselves.

We were shown how they recycled old Betamax video tapes and sorted the different plastics for recycling. One workshop was recycling shower units, taking all the pieces and putting them in separate containers. Metal, of which one component was copper, is very valuable, so this gives them a good income as scrap. We were also shown a workshop where garden furniture was made and repaired. This proved to be most interesting.

Many gardening projects are undertaken by people who use the garden as therapy, learning about growing products for themselves and working on their own initiative. There is also a kitchen section to the project which members run with the help and guidance of volunteers. The day was rounded off with hot drinks in the canteen served by many of the students who were working there.

An informative and interesting day for us all. Mary Sheppard

Baby Bundles for Cape Town

The Inner Wheel Club of Hereford Wye Valley (District 10) has been busy making baby clothes for the new-born babies in Cape Town. After knitting lots of garments which were taken out in July, the knitters have been hard at it again and the club has been able to send this second wonderful selection of baby clothes to the Inner Wheel Club of Waterfront – there were 25 little jackets and jumpers with some bootees and hats too.

Skydiving Inner Wheel Style

June Christophi is a member of Eastbourne Sovereign Inner Wheel Club, Their President’s husband is living with dementia, so the club had been fundraising for dementia research for some time by running coffee mornings and afternoon teas.

However, June wanted to do something big to help raise vital funds for research. When she attended a conference session in Bournemouth, she noticed a stand offering information about doing a skydive for Alzheimer’s Research UK. She went home and signed up immediately! She has already smashed the target she had set, but she is hopeful that people will keep donating to support the cause.

She remarked, “So many people, some whom I haven’t seen in years, have been donating, which has been really wonderful. I turned 74 the day before the skydive and at this point of my life, I just felt that I had to go for it.

Of course, there is a part of me that was a little bit nervous, but I’m delighted to be raising much needed funds for dementia research. It is an incredibly important area. We all know somebody who has been touched by dementia and we need to keep raising funds to stop other families having to suffer in the future.”

June says she wouldn’t have done the skydive without the amazing support that she received from her friends in her Inner Wheel club. A few years ago, a friend brought her along to an Inner Wheel meeting. Being part of the club has really changed her life.

Georgi Welch, Regional Fundraising Officer for the South East at Alzheimer’s Research UK said, “We would like to say a huge thank you to June for taking on this incredible skydive to raise vital funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK. We knew she was going to smash it!”

Their six Club members – yes, just six of them! - do so much to help locally and are indeed a wonderful example of Inner Wheel at its best. New mothers at the local hospital are so grateful for the help the knitters have given. The President and three ladies from the Waterfront Club handed the beautifully presented baby bundles to the Neonatal ward.

The Inner Wheel Lifeboats

Have you ever wondered what happened to the two lifeboats for which Inner Wheel raised money? An article on that very subject appeared in Coast to Coast, the district magazine of District 17.

Those of you with long memories might just remember that the first one was launched at Poole in 1984. She was a “Brede” class lifeboat which could travel at speeds of up to 20 knots and was an all-weather boat. She was at Poole from 1984-2001 then Calshot till 2002. “Inner Wheel” was sold off by the RNLI in 2002 and from 2006 she continued as a lifeboat in South Africa.

The second Inner Wheel lifeboat was launched on 10th September 2000 at Poole. She was a more powerful “Trent” class lifeboat with a top speed of 25 knots and a range of 250 nautical miles. The lifeboat served for some time in Exmouth. She was a relief duty boat from 2000 till 2006 since when she has been at the Barry Dock at the Vale of Glamorgan lifeboat station. She is still there and can be viewed by appointment.

With thanks to Mr Adrian Frogley, RNLI Poole

A Novel Take on

Sports Competitions! District 24 has traditionally held a golf competition each year. Over the years, entries have dwindled until there were none! Last year, we decided that we should rethink the competition and tried out the Fellowship Award which we nicknamed the FA Cup. It is a knock-out competition between clubs; a draw is held at District meetings and the “home” club challenges the “away” club to a games competition. These could be physical games such as ten pin bowling or games such as beetle or bingo. Clubs also took part in Yahtzee, scrabble and snakes and ladders. We remodelled the Golf Trophy and the first presentation of the FA Cup was to the Braintree and Bocking club.

As it was a great success, allowing all members to take part, we have decided to continue with the competition this year and already teams are taking part in the first round. The next draw will be made by Gill Swanson, our District Chairman, at the November District meeting.

Celia Clark is pictured presenting the trophy to Pam Byford, President of Braintree and Boking, the winning club in 2017-18.

Celia Clark - District 24

Silly Socks

make a difference! Letter to all our fantastic members!

I thought you would like to know what a valuable and positive contribution Inner Wheel has made (and I believe, is still making) to the charity BEAT – Beating Eating Disorders.

As you will understand, I am still in close touch with Andrea Auburn and the team at BEAT and they are delighted to inform us that the partnership with Inner Wheel in 2016-2017 has enabled the charity to:

• expand their support services to ensure these are available all year round. This year 17,802 people have used the helplines, online groups, web chat and message boards to find emotional support and practical guidance, thus encouraging them to seek recovery sooner.

• expand the Ambassador programme, welcoming fifty new volunteers and bringing the total number of Ambassadors to 175. They have taken part in 417 engagements, sharing their stories to encourage understanding of eating disorders. Those of you who have heard the Young Ambassadors speak, either at Conference or to clubs, will know how important they are in passing on the message that there is help and that recovery is possible.

One of the most valuable contributions we made was in raising the profile of BEAT around the country and enabling them to reach schools, doctors’ surgeries and other outlets to roll out the message that there is support out there.


able to help sufferers in the early stage of an eating disorder is vital and BEAT are continuing to take this message out into the community.

I am delighted to tell you that they will be having a stall at the Conference in Cardiff and will be only too pleased to see you – and update you on what is happening.

They think Inner

Wheel Members are the greatest – and will always be pleased to see or hear from you – with or without the Silly Socks! Yours in friendship,

Past Association President Zena Coles

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