Thursday, 30 October 2014

SHWI turns five and waves goodbye to Lindsay and Kim

October’s always a special month for Seven Hills WI. It’s a time for partying as we mark the anniversary of our official forming meeting and this year it was a little sad too as Kim and I addressed the group as President and Secretary for the very last time.

Our October meeting saw us celebrate our fifth birthday (five! Time flies!) with a birthday social, pot luck supper and cake competition. We had an abundance of food from crisps to pasta salad, mackerel pate to sausage rolls, and everything in between! And then there were the cakes. Special mentions go to Anna P’s Kinder egg cake with photos of me, Jen and Kim, and Vicky’s M&M and Maltesers dairy-free cake. After a gruelling taste test (it’s a hard life!) we chose Sam’s sponge piñata cake with a hidden filling of M&Ms as the winner. Well done Sam and thanks to everyone who entered the competition or brought food for the buffet, you are all brilliant! 

Sam's piñata cake
In true kid’s party style we played a round of pass the parcel although we had to draw the line at musical chairs; we’re still scarred from the musical chair incident of 2010…
It was a lovely night and great chance for members to have a chat in a more informal setting as we marked reaching the grand old age of five. It makes me so happy to see how far SHWI has come in the past five years and I’m looking forward to seeing what the next five hold. 

Members with the winning birthday cake

October was also a time for goodbyes and hellos as six members of the current committee stepped down, one new member joined the committee and roles were swapped around. As you will no doubt already know, after founding the group with Jen back in 2009 and being officers for the past five years, Kim and I decided to step down from our positions of President (me) and Secretary (her) as from November’s committee meeting. Kim and I will continue to be SHWI members and are looking forward to being able to fully enjoy meetings without worrying about organising them! Other committee members to step down this year are Ruth, Katie, Chelle, and Louise – thank you for all your hard work ladies – while we welcome Sam as a new committee member. 

We are very pleased to say that current committee members Kirsty and Laura will be taking over as President and Secretary so you’ll be hearing more from them soon. Good luck K-Bo and Bainbridge!

Lindsay (centre) with Kirsty (left) and Laura (right)

Kim and I were overwhelmed with the thank you cards and gifts our lovely members bought for us and would like to say another big thank you for everyone’s kind words. So many people told me at the meeting that through founding the group we had changed their lives for the better and that’s something I will continue to be proud of for a very long time.

I look forward to seeing you all at meetings and thank you to each and every member, past and present, for making SHWI such an amazing group to lead.

With love,

Lindsay x
President of Seven Hills WI

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Seven Hills WI Christmas Market

On Saturday 15th November, we will be hosting a fabulous Christmas Market with a chance to buy handmade crafts, homemade food and gift ideas galore from both WI members and local traders.

The Market will run from 11am and 2pm and is being held at Electric Works, Sheffield.

Interested in taking a stall?

Please be aware that completing an application form does not mean you will automatically be given a stall. We will prioritise WI members and local people that make or design their stock themselves, or that sell unique products and vintage items. We will also try to ensure that we have a variety of different types of stall.

Able to help out on the day?

We are looking for willing WI members to volunteer to bake, help set up, look after stall holders and serve refreshments. If you can help, please let us know by emailing

The front entrance to Electric Works can be found on Sheaf Street, conveniently located in front of Sheffield Interchange and on the opposite side of the road to Sheffield Railway Station.

Can you display a poster? If you have somewhere you can share our poster, such as your workplace noticeboard or in a window, we’d be really grateful.

Lastly, we’d be delighted if you could share this post on social media using the icons below. Thank you!

Monday, 13 October 2014

SHWI Mad Skillz: Pretty Girls Make Shelves

SHWI Mad Skillz is one of our spin-off groups organised by Di and Anna T. They organise bespoke sessions where SHWI members can learn a new skill in a smaller-sized group. Last week, ten members went along to Sheffield City College for a night of furniture making. Committee member Kirsty tells us all about it....

The last time I was let loose with a band saw was my year 9 design and technology class and to be honest, I spent most of the lesson in the toilet swapping notes with my mate who was doing IT next door. Making furniture was just not a priority at 15. But now, I'm 27 with my own home and I need to know the right way around a power drill. So I was really up for a night of furniture making. 

The Women's Workshop is nearly 25!
Anna and Di had organised Sheffield City College teacher Anna Childs to give us a one-of taster session of the course that she runs in the Women's Workshop there. Due to numbers, the courses in the workshop are now open to men too. Liz Kettle from WEST (Women in Engineering Science and Technology), a voluntary organisation that encourage women and girls to take up careers in non-traditional roles in Science, Engineering, Technology and the Built Environment, was keen to show us the facilities.

Liz and Anna met us on a rainy Wednesday night and supplied us with plenty of tea, coffee and tunnocks biscuits (just what some of us needed after the horrific traffic). They introduced the course, how WEST can help women with bursaries and outreach work and then it was down to what we were making - shelves. 

Anna explains what we're going to do
Anna took it step by step - explaining how we would go about starting the project then letting us do it ourselves. It was scary to be let loose on the big machines like the drill and sanders but Liz and Anna were very encouraging (and nobody lost a finger, so yay!). Using her example, we measured, sawed, drilled, screwed and sanded our wood into something that looked a lot like a set of small shelves!

I must say that there was some more talented members in the group than me - Chloe and Carolyne took so much care in sanding and smoothing their shelves that they were left with something very professional looking. Mine on the other hand was a bit rough and ready but acceptable enough to go on my bathroom wall. 

Anna and Liz were so generous in their time and resources and we were so grateful to have the opportunity to play with all their tools and create something really worthwhile. 

Our finished shelves!
If you're interested in one of the furniture making courses, have a look at the page on the Sheffield City College website

Kirsty Bowen
SHWI Committee member

Sunday, 5 October 2014

September meeting - Badge and mirror making

Our September meeting saw us getting nifty with glue and scissors, with Crafty Jackdaw helping us to design badges and mirrors.

As members and guests gathered in the club area at Electric Works, Crafty Jackdaw were already busy setting up the conference room into three long tables with a finishing station at one end.

Kim, Lindsay and Vicky started the meeting by going through WI business, including news of the upcoming Don Valley Rally, Autumn Council and our fabulous limited edition Christmas cards (which we’re selling for £5 a pack in aid of our charity of the year, Young Women’s Housing Project).

During the break, while we were all quaffing tea and cake, Crafty Jackdaw put out all the bits and pieces we needed to make our badges and mirrors. Following a brief explanation, members set about using the templates to create their designs out of everything from comics and children’s story books to sheet music and vintage fabric. 

The ladies from Crafty Jackdaw press our badges
Members could make various different items, which saw even the creatively-challenged (that’d be me) engrossed cutting and sticking. Crafty Jackdaw were kept busy all meeting, as members queued to have their inspired designs made into badges or mirrors, so that everyone got the chance to take home a unique keepsake they’d made themselves.

I found it quite therapeutic and enjoyed doing something that meant we could chat while we had a go at doing something new!

Some of Laura's badges
Next month we will be celebrating our 5th birthday with party games and a pot luck supper. Remember, to bring a dish a long to share and if you fancy getting your bake on you can also enter our birthday cake competition!

See you soon,

Vice President