July 2019

Things are hotting up at the Hive this summer as Beeston is hit with an impressive wave of heat. This may not be the kind of weather that puts you in mind of knitted cardigans and woollen hats, but our knitters have been busying themselves for the last few months working on tiny clothes for the premature babies of the QMC’s neonatal unit. We’ll be collecting these items at the next meeting – and we can’t wait to see what you’ve made!

We also have something to get you into the flow at our meeting this month with Tai Chi teacher Dave Ashby. He teaches a type of Tai Chi based on the flowing movements of water.

Tai Chi is known for keeping its practitioners calm and cool-headed, even in sweltering weather such as this.

Finally, we will be having an important vote about who can come to our subgroups so please read that part of the newsletter carefully.

See you at the next meeting!

July Meeting

“Dragon River Tai Chi”

This month we will be joined by Dave Ashby of Dragon River Tai Chi.

Tai Chi is a physical art form from 13th Century China that is known for its slow, flowing, continuous movements. Dragon River Tai Chi is named for such movements, as the movements of traditional Chinese dragons are associated with the powerful yet graceful undulations of water – “exactly as good Tai Chi should be”, as Mr. Ashby writes on his website.

The flowing movements of the body in Tai Chi are also supposed to represent the flowing nature of the mind. The goal is to have mind and body flowing together as one. In other words, Tai Chi is practised both externally and internally.

If that sounds a bit too mystical for you, don’t worry – it is a fantastic exercise in mindfulness, and simply moving the body with attention is proven to have benefits for both physical and mental health. 

Tai Chi is practised as a martial art, a moving meditation practice, as well as for its health and relaxation benefits. These days the NHS recommends tai chi for improving balance (especially in older people), core strength, and, in some cases, pain relief. It is a low impact exercise that is practised around the world by millions of people of all ages. Even the Calendar Girls got in on the action!

For this meeting, please wear appropriate clothes and flat foot wear. Consider bring a bottle of water with you, especially as the temperatures have been so warm of late.

No one will mind if you would rather watch than join in, or if you can only join in for parts of the demonstration but not all of it.

A saying from Tai Chi philosophy is “overcome hardness with softness”. This reflects Tai Chi’s emphasis on calmness and going with the flow. That will be our motto for the evening – follow your own flow and do as much or as little as you want.

This Month’s Top Tip

Just for funds

Our fun fund raising activity this month is a simple guessing game of guessing how many beads there are in a jar. The winner will take home a small gift basket containing several environmentally-friendly alternatives to plastic, and a booklet called 101 Ways to Reduce Plastic Waste. Bring some change with you if you’d like to try your luck!

The Hive WI Library

It’s open!

We swap items that would be at home in any modern library. This includes books, DVDs, audiobooks, CDs, and quality magazines.

If a book catches your eye but you don’t have one to swap in its place, just pop a donation in our jar.

Any left over books will be donated to a charity shop.

Other News

Nudity, Cake, and Jam

If your friends have heard the rumours about the WI, now is a great time to encourage them to come and check us out

WI membership is pro rata for new members and those who haven’t been a member for ten or more years. This means that membership for those who qualify for pro rata rates is £21.00 from July to September, and £10.50 between October and December.

There will be plenty of cake, but we make no promises on the calendars or jam making.

Little Knits

Knots of love

Last November we took a big bag full of hand-knitted items, all generously and beautifully made by you, to Nottingham’s neonatal unit.

Some of the hats were tiny enough to comfortably fit a satsuma.

Hospital staff at the QMC contacted us to say they especially need hats with ventilation flaps, like the one pictured above. The flaps mean the hats can be worn by the babies while monitors still have access to the babies’ skin.

We will be collecting everything at the next meeting, but there is still time to make something if you want to have a go. You can find all the patterns on our Facebook page and group. You can also email us for a PDF copy to download.

Seas The Day!

For our summer social

August is now only a month away and we want to hear your ideas for our sizzling summer social. Some ideas that have been suggested already are:

  • “Quiz and Chips” 
  • Summer strawberries and scones
  • School sports day activities
  • Speed friending (like speed dating but with friends)

These ideas are for the main meeting in August and must be something we could do in the hall. They don’t have to be summer or beach themed – just so long as it’s something fun then we’re bound to have a whale of a time.

Let’s Get Quizzical

New Subgroup at The Crown Inn

Two of our members have volunteered to organise a monthly trip to The Crown Inn’s pub quiz. The quiz has been running for many years at The Crown Inn, a pub which is frequently cited as a favourite in Beeston.

We will be meeting at 20:00 on the first Thursday of the month from September.

Reserved Table?

Extroverted table!

We have booked 35 spaces at Amores restaurant in Beeston for our Christmas meal together on Wednesday 11th December at 19:30.

We’ve been told there’s room for more people so please let us know if you want to come.

It costs between £21 and £26 for 3 courses, not including alcohol or a tip. We are giving menus away at the July meeting and taking full payments or deposits of £10 in August and September.

Stitching Time

It’s never too late to learn

Members of our craft group have volunteered to run some crafty skill share events.

To gauge your interest, we have created a poll in our Facebook group. We’d love to know which crafts you needle help with or would like someone to show you how to start. Knits a great way to learn!

Dates and times are yet to be announced.

Holiday Hunger

Make like a bee and feed the world

Over the summer holidays, demand on food banks rises as families struggle to provide lunches for children who would otherwise receive a free meal at school. This is known as “holiday hunger”.

In 2019 more than half a million children in the UK received a crisis donation of food from food banks.

The main reasons for people needing emergency food are benefits consistently not covering the cost of living (33%), and delays or changes to benefits being paid.

The Trussel Trust (click to find out more)

To support our local food bank during this busy period, we are hosting our third donation of food at our July meeting. 

Most requested food items include:

  • Milk (UHT or powdered)
  • Sugar (500g)
  • Fruit Juice (carton)
  • Tinned soup
  • Pasta Sauces
  • Sponge Pudding (Tinned)
  • Tinned spaghetti/macaroni
  • Cereals
  • Rice Pudding (Tinned)
  • Tea bags
  • Instant coffee
  • Instant Mash Potato
  • Rice/Pasta
  • Tinned Meat/Fish/Vegetables
  • Tinned Fruit
  • Jam
  • Biscuits or snack bars

Hope Nottingham often have enough pasta and told us “please no more baked beans :)”.

We understand that not everyone can give something so please only give what you can. Thank you!

Sub Groups & Trips/Events (Information Gathering)

Guest post by Hayley Luff

I fedback at the last meeting about the information I had gathered from 31 of our members over the previous 2 meetings. Members showed the most interest in Cinema/Theatre, Local Events, Gin/Wine tasting, Pub Quiz, Christmas Market & Hobby events e.g. at NEC. Unfortunately because only a few members volunteered to help with organizing anything, and as the committee is already spread so thinly running meetings & many sub groups already established, I am unable to proceed without your support. If you want these Groups/Trips to run & for new ones to start we need your help.

Since then a couple of members have come forward to lead a subgroup at The Crown Pub Quiz starting in September. We supported them in finding out who would be able to come & if there was interest in a regular meet up or occasional trips through a Facebook poll. We will continue to support by advertising the events & we hope all who attend whether you can go regularly or occasionally have a good time.

We are still looking for help to organize ad hoc trips/events. So far we’ve had around 6-8 ladies attend each trip/event we have run, so it shouldn’t be a MASSIVE undertaking. As always we are here to support any members willing to help. So if any of the trips/events mentioned above are of interest to you please don’t hesitate to come & have a chat or email me at Thehivewi@gmail.com

Hayley, Social Events Leader

Bringing Together “Town and Country”

Inspiring women from across Nottinghamshire

“Town and Country” is a group of WIs created and put together by the Nottinghamshire Federation of Women’s Institutes. It includes The Hive WI, Beeston WI, Clifton Doves, City WI, Birds of a Feather WI, and Lady Bay WI.

We are all newer WIs and between us we have about 500 WI members!

The first Town and Country meeting took place on Monday the 24th of June. It was attended by committee members from five of the six WIs, including three committee members from the Hive.

We hope that the Town and Country group will provide a real opportunity to collaborate, share experiences and support, and to tap into the wider WI community across Nottinghamshire that goes far beyond our individual meetings.

Bee Our Guest?

We’re voting at the next meeting

The subgroups have been open to “plus ones” and women considering membership to The Hive WI for at least a year, but we’d like to know more about how you think this should work.

We will be voting on:

  • Whether guests at meetings can be invited to subgroups;
  • How many times guests are invited to come;
  • Whether guests can also bring a plus-one;
  • Whether a limit is placed on how many times members can bring a friend with them.

Since the last newsletter when we first raised this issue, a few people have compared it to being a member of a gym. You would not expect to have access to a gym’s events if you did not have membership. Other members disagree with the analogy and say that the WI is a charity with social goals and an emphasis of reaching out to women in the community. There is no “right” way to think about this, however, just different ways.

Several members have also mentioned how they’d like the possibility to review the vote in six months.

We’d love to know more about what you think:

Would you feel happier if the subgroups were just for members? How would you feel being told you can’t bring a certain friend anymore? Do you think it would be awkward to turn people away?

Please email us at thehivewi@gmail.com with any thoughts, experiences or concerns you might have. If you would like us to anonymously read or mention your email at the discussion at the next meeting, then please let us know. 

Arguments for keeping the groups open include guests feeling more welcome and more likely to join The Hive WI. It can be quite daunting to turn up to a big meeting on your own and not know anybody, but much more doable to go to a quieter subgroup. Being open to guests also aligns with the WI’s resolution of inclusion and to alleviate loneliness in the community and those who already have membership to The Hive WI might also feel happier being able to include friends.

For small subgroups, remaining open to non-members may help them bring in enough people to keep going for other Hive members, and, in the case of the craft groups, helps pay for the room hire.

On the other hand, some members might only want the subgroups to be for those with full membership, and to exist so that members can get to know other members only.

It is important to note that subgroups will not be open to the general public or to men. Anyone who goes to a subgroup will either be a member, a plus-one, or considering membership of the Hive WI.

Plus-ones and guests have been coming to the subgroups for a while, but by far the majority of ladies who attend subgroups are Hive WI members.

The committee cannot make such decisions on your behalf. This is your WI, and the great thing about WIs is that they can be what you want them to be. 

Regular Information

This Month’s Volunteers

Busy Bees

Pam L, Rosie M, Sandra C are our star bakers this month.

Please arrive early so we can slice and serve your cakes ready for 19:10.

We want to pay you back for the cost of the cake (up to £2.50 per cake) so please remember to sign for your reimbursement by seeing a committee member in the kitchen, too.

Joanne D, Maeve M will be helping out in the kitchens.

Morag C will also be helping with setup and cleanup.

Thank you so much to our July team!


Drinks, cake, and conversation

All refreshments are 50p.

If you’d like refreshments before we start, please come for around 19:15.

We will break for refreshments again later in the evening (do bring change!).

Please do not bring a cake if you have not already signed up to do so.

Bring your own cups if you can to save on washing up (though cups will be provided in case you forget), and wine if you would like it.

Time and Location

Our main monthly meeting is every second Wednesday of the month at 19:30 to 21:30 in the church hall on Foster Avenue, Beeston (opposite the library).

Our next main meeting is on the 10th of July.

Parking and Transport

There is parking just outside the church hall as well as across the road next to the Citizens Advice Bureau.

Beeston’s transport interchange is excellent for regular trams and buses.

The interchange is just by Tesco and a four-minute walk from where we meet.

Non-Members and Guests

We’d love to meet you!

Guests are very welcome but you must reserve your place before coming.

There is an optional visitors donation of £5 to our charity.

Guests can come to up to three monthly meetings each year as a guest before being asked to join officially.

Guests can also come to many of our subgroups as a plus one.

If you sign up for membership that evening or in the seven days following the meeting, your donation will be refunded.

July Calendar

What’s on and when

Photo by Elle Hughes on Pexels.com

Cafe Society: Thistle Tea House, Wednesday 3 July, 14:00

Craft ‘n’ Chat: Wednesday 3 July, 19:00

Walk ‘n’ Talk: Ockbrook, Saturday 6 July, 14:00

Main Meeting: Tai Chi, Wednesday 10 July, 19:30-21:30

Walk ‘n’ Talk: Bramcote and Stapleford, Monday 15 July, 19:00

Supper Club: Lagans, Wednesday 17 July, 19:30

Saturday Crafternoon: Saturday 20 July, 14:00

Tuesday Book Club: The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul by Deborah Raini Rodriguez, Tuesday 16 July, 20:00

Thursday Book Club: Jambusters by Julie Summers, Thursday 25 July, 19:30

Reoccurring Events

Your shortcut to the subgroups

Walk ‘n’ Talk: Every first weekend and third Monday

Craft ‘n’ Chat: Every first Wednesday, 19:00-21:00 at the Methodist Church in Beeston

Cafe Society: Every first Wednesday, 14:00 (various locations)

Main Meeting: Every second Wednesday, 19:30-21:30

Tuesday Night Book Club: Every third Tuesday, 20:00 at The White Lion in Beeston

Saturday Crafternoon: Every third Saturday, 14:00-16:00 at the Methodist Church in Beeston

Supper Club: Every third Wednesday, 19:30 (various locations)

Thursday Evening Book Club: Every last Thursday, 19:30 at the White Lion in Beeston