June 2019

What a buzz last month after the Health and Wellbeing Fair! It surpassed our expectations, and for that we have you to thank for spreading the word, turning up, volunteering, and supporting us with your cakes and enthusiasm.

We have even more to look forward to this month thanks to the launch of our new walking group, Walk ‘n’ Talk. The Hive WI has really grown since its first year and continues to do so as new subgroups are suggested and start up.

Keep reading to find out more about what we’re up to in June!

June Meeting

“A Taste of Jamaica”

Photo by Rajesh TP on Pexels.com

Jamaican cooking is known for its spicy and vibrant flavours.

The history of Jamaican cuisine reflects the country’s multicultural past: it has cooking techniques, flavours, spices and influences from the indigenous people of Jamaica, as well as the Spanish, Irish, British, Africans, Indian, and Chinese people who lived there.

Cooking as a topic has long been a WI staple, with the NFWI emphasising learning and being curious about different cooking skills when it comes to promoting a healthy lifestyle.

This “come on and have a go” approach is something that the Women’s Institute applies to pretty much everything, and is why WIs – especially these days – can be so very different from one another.

Are you interested in self-defence? Come on and have a go! Crafting? Try it! Sky diving? Well, it’s not on the Hive’s list of things to do but it would certainly be an interesting subgroup to lead…

This month we will be joined by Jamaican cook Madge Spencer. She will be demonstrating recipes for jerk chicken, beans and rice, a vegetarian dish, and rum punch.

Recipes will be given out at the end along with the chance to taste the dishes.

Has that whet your appetite? Then we’ll see you at the next meeting!

This Month’s Top Tip

Just for fun: quirky kitchen gadget display

Just for fun at our June meeting, we are planning a display of “quirky and unusual” kitchen gadgets (brought in by you!) to run along side the Jamaican cookery demonstration. 

Do you have any cooking tools or gadgets in your kitchen cupboards that would make us laugh or scratch our heads? If so, bring them along!

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

Plant Swap Success

It was a mini jungle

Last month’s plant swap was a sight to see – keep us posted with pictures on our Facebook group. We’d love to see how they grow!

What a Difference You Bake

We couldn’t have done it without you

Last month was our first attempt at hosting an event like the Health and Wellbeing Fair, and we had no idea what to expect.

So many people came, and so many Hive members came through to make it what it was. You made us proud!

Our amazing volunteers handmade a whopping 144 cakes, buns, biscuits, brownies, and scones.

Together, you helped to raise £182 for The Hive WI just from selling refreshments alone!

Hayley and Michelle, on behalf of the Health and Wellbeing Fair subcommittee, passed on this message:

“Members support was fantastic – some baked, some turned up to help, some attended & brought family & friends. Thank you to each & everyone of you. We couldn’t have achieved such a fantastic total without you.”

The grand total raised will be revealed at the June meeting. It will also be included in the July newsletter for anyone who can’t be there in person.

What does a satsuma have to do with knitting?

? ? ? ?

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 earlier this year and said they are in need of more items, especially special hats with ventilation flaps on them. The flaps mean the hats can be worn by the babies while monitors can still access the babies’ skin.

We will have the patterns for a variety of items on our Facebook page and group. You can also email us for a PDF copy of the patterns to download.

We will be collecting everything at our July meeting in a month’s time.

And the winner is…

Drum roll please

After a lively discussion at the last meeting on the two proposed resolutions, you voted as follows:

  • Decline in Rural Buses: For 31 – Against  1
  • Discretionary Vote: For 0 – Against 32
  • “Don’t Fear the Smear”: For 23 – Against 9
  • Discretionary Vote: For 19 – Against 13

The NFWI sent out this tweet today: “Resolutions announced: local bus services passes with 96% majority and Don’t Fear the Smear passes with 97%”.

Our secretary Sally will be be giving a personal report of the Annual Meeting at our meeting on Wednesday.

Hey, Crafty Pants

Show us your stuff

Our Christmas craft event – Bee Crafty For Christmas – has been up on our Facebook page for a few weeks now and is already attracting a bit of attention.

Bee Crafty is on Saturday the 16th of November between 14:00-16:30 at the Methodist Church on Chilwell Road.

There will be a small selection of crafts for visitors to try, as well as refreshments and a craft stall where you can buy handmade Christmas gifts.

We will need donations of handmade items to sell at the stall, so if you knit, paint, sew, or collage, please keep us in mind over the next six crafty months.

Fellow WIs advise us that things for children sell the best, so that could be a knitcellent place to start.

Walk ‘n’ Talk

Our newest subgroup is living up to its name

Four members attended our first ever Hive walk on Sunday the 2nd of June.

Hayley, who leads the group, said “there was lots of chatter. We forgot to look at the view we were talking so much! Despite it trying to rain, it was really relaxing and so nice to get to know people during the walk. We finished it off with cake and hot drinks at the Mulberry Tree Cafe.”

The next walk is on Monday the 17th of June around Wollaton Park at 7pm, ending at the Wheelhouse pub restaurant.

You can find out more about our walks on our website, and get in touch if you would like to lead one.

They take place every first weekend on alternate Saturdays and Sundays, and every third Monday of the month.

Be Our Guest?

What do you think?

What is your opinion on who can come to our subgroups?

Currently subgroups are open to Hive WI members and their “plus ones”, but we’d like to know more about how you think this should work.

Do you think women who have come to Hive meetings as a guest (but haven’t yet signed up for membership) should be invited by members to check out the subgroups? Should guests be invited by members to bring plus-ones, too?

Guests have come to subgroups before, but we need to make it official by voting on it at a future meeting, so please think about this carefully. 

On the one hand, being able to come to subgroups means that guests might feel more welcome and comfortable and more likely to join The Hive WI as a result.

It can also 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 is also in line with the WI’s resolution of inclusion and to alleviate loneliness in the community.

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

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

It is important to note that if the subgroups were made more open to non-members (that is, open to guests and no limit placed on how many times you can bring a particular friend with you), they 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 would either have been a guest of the Hive WI or be considering membership of the Hive WI.

Talk to other members about it, and think about what you would like.

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? What would it mean in practice to disallow guests joining the subgroups?

We will be voting on:

  • Whether guests are invited to the 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.

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. 

Until the vote, we’d love to hear your thoughts, experiences, or concerns. Please email us at thehivewi@gmail.com or private message The Hive WI on Facebook.

Help! We Need Somebody

Help! Not just anybody

Ryan's Blog: The Beatles Album Covers

Women’s Institutes are run by and for their members. They survive and thrive as long as there are enough people willing to join in and help out.

So far, we’ve had some fantastic volunteers – with some volunteers helping us regularly on the committee or at the meetings, and others on a one-off basis. Whether the job has been big or small, we’re extremely grateful to everybody who has lent a hand.

So, how can you help? Here are some roles we’re looking for members to fill:

  • Befrienders to chat to new members and guests and help them feel welcome and included;
  • Leading a walk at our Walk ‘n’ Talk;
  • Leaders for future subgroups;
  • Kitchen volunteers;
  • Cake bakers and bringers (we will refund your cake for up to £2.50);
  • Suggesting, organising, and hosting a swap shop at one of our meetings;
  • We also currently have two spots open on the committee: an assistant secretary and an assistant treasurer;
  • You can also apply to be more generally on the committee and see what role might come up that is more appropriate for you.

It would be fantastic to have some regular volunteers for roles such as for befriending and welcoming guests (this month five visitors have reserved places), whereas other roles – like leading a walk or bringing refreshments – might be spread out among many people.

No matter what you want to do or how often or occasionally you’d like to do it, we’d love to hear from you about it.

On behalf of The Hive WI team, thank you again to everyone who has ever helped out – you’re the bee’s knees!

To Email or Not to Email

That is the question

It’s not nearly as deep as what Hamlet was asking himself, but surely even the Great Bard would have been annoyed by unwanted emails, or – the opposite problem – missing out on emails he did actually want to get.

On the information table at the next meeting will be a sheet about emails and the subgroups. 

Just pick up a pen (or a feathered quill) and let us know if you’d like to start or continue receiving emails from The Hive WI about our subgroups, or if you would like them to cease.

We will never add you to the subgroup’s email list unless you tell us to do so.

You can update your preferences any time by emailing us at thehivewi@gmail.com directly.

Regular Information

This Month’s Volunteers

Jane B, Emily C, Sarah H 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.

Julie W and Sally P will be helping out in the kitchens.

Jane B and Dagmar A will also be helping with setup and cleanup.

Thank you so much to our June team!


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 12th of June.

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.

June Calendar

Walk ‘n’ Talk:  Strelley, Sunday 2, 9.30

Cafe Society: Bean, Wednesday 5 June, 14:00

Craft ‘n’ Chat: Wednesday 5 June, 19:00

Main Meeting: “A Taste of Jamaica” cooking demonstration, Wednesday 12 June , 19:30-21:30

Saturday Crafternoon: Saturday 15 June, 14:00

Walk ‘n’ Talk: Wollaton Park, Monday 17 June, 19:00

Supper Club: Blue Bell, Wednesday 19 June, 19:30 (please email us to reserve a place or sign up at the next meeting)

Tuesday Book Club: Carte Postales of Greece by Victoria Hislop, Tuesday 18 June, 20:00

Thursday Book Club: Prey by Michael Crichton, Thursday 27 June, 19:30

Reoccurring Events

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

Wednesday 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

Find Us Online

Email: thehivewi@gmail.com

Facebook: facebook.com/thehivewi

Facebook group (members only): facebook.com/groups/thehivewi

Twitter: twitter.com/thehivewi

Website: thehivewi.com

You can also search for us on Google Calendar using our email address.