‘The Power of Words.’ Despite unseasonal weather – what did happen to Spring? – anyone outside the village hall, at Snitterfield WI’s April meeting, might have wondered at the waves of positive enjoyment floating towards them. There was laughter, there was singing, as our speaker, Deborah Ellis, proved to us the efficacy of words to uplift even the lowest spirits.

Being a fan of Cotswold poet Pam Ayres might explain her ability to use poetry as therapy. She trained as a paramedic, partly because she understood at first hand how the encouragement of a caring nurse could heal. Her grandmother had always written poems and Deborah found that she had the same facility. Finding a family ukulele helped to add music to the poetry performances she gives to mental health sufferers. Her feeling is that creativity can change many situations and aid self-belief; the basis of positive thinking.

To this end she writes songs and verse for poetry slams, folk festivals – where she is an MC – and programmes for BBC Coventry & Warwickshire. Friends challenge her to write on many topics. Eg. Accompanied verses for the Harbury Ukulele Group; songs about Origami and an
Orang-utan. Which explains why our rendition of ‘You Are My Sunshine’ may have startled the villagers last Wednesday.

The evening had begun with reports of the recent Federation meeting and a successful skittles evening. Carol, our secretary, announced Summer activities: a BBQ; a ‘grand day out’ to Lincoln; visits to London and Sezincote and a tree planting. There is a chance to knit hats, scarves and poppies as well as add to the fun of the village fête and contribute to the annual ‘bee count’ in June. We shall also be collecting for the Air Ambulance which is the WI’s chosen Centenary Charity. There are many things to anticipate so do join us on Wednesday May 9. You will be most welcome.

Barbara Alcock