MARCH’S WI meeting was opened by the President, Dorothy Fell, who welcomed members.

Details of forthcoming events were given, and she reported that the programme for the centenary year in 2021 is well in hand.

It is expected to be a year of celebration.

The speaker for the evening was Sheila Patterson, a former president of Borwick & Priest Hutton WI. Sheila gave a presentation about ‘Days for Girls’, a charity set up in 2008 by founder and CEO Celeste Mergens.

Celeste visited an orphanage in Nairobi, Kenya and realised that there was nothing in place to help the girls with their feminine hygiene. From small beginnings, ‘Days for Girls’ is now a worldwide organisation.

The charity provides sanitary kits for thousands of girls who would normally have to use unhygienic methods of protection. The girls sometimes do not attend school or even leave the house, and the lost education can have an impact on their ability to earn and support their family in the future.

To date,1.7 million kits have been distributed.

Volunteers at the Arnside group of the charity, of which Sheila is the leader, meet on two Tuesdays a month.

Between 20 and 30 volunteers knit, sew and pack the kits which have been sent to Kenya, Malawi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Liberia and others in Africa and Asia.

WI meetings are held in the Memorial Hall on the second Tuesday of the month at 7.30pm. New members are always welcome.