The February WI meeting was a delightfully mixed bag. Member Jacky Legge had been making an assortment of scarves and neck warmers in fashionably wintry colours, ideal for this cold weather and some of our members went home rather warmer than when they arrived.

The refreshments once more lived up to expectations – how do the ladies produce such light and luscious cakes? Our committee announced ideas for more social gatherings: a poetry evening to jog our memories of those well-remembered rhymes from schooldays and a visit, with light meal, to see The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel film.

Our speaker for the evening, Doug Burns, gave us a great deal to think about as he revealed the amazing work done by the Shakespeare Hospice, not only in-house but in the homes of patients. With an enormous area to cover – 150,000 in population – we could only marvel at the dedication of staff and volunteers who are at our service 24 hours a day, every day of the year – and all this is free.

Members had many questions and comments, foremost among them being why did the hospice receive only a 5% NHS grant? Come on everyone, take note and show appreciation of this wonderful service. £2 million will be needed this year. What can I do to help?

Barbara Alcock