Archive for June 2017

Wouldn’t it Bead Nice - April Workshop

Thursday, 29 June 2017 § 0

The beading workshop was run by the ever amazing Clare-Marie, who is an amazing crafter.

The evening began with Clare-Marie showing us the set of jewellery that we would be making.

Clare-Marie then demonstrated how to make the bracelet, using three strands which were woven together using the beads. 

Each person was provided with a pack of supplies and some round nose pliers and flat nose pliers.

As the bracelet was made the same way as the necklace, you could then finish the necklace off at home with your new pliers.

Clare-Marie was on hand to help out anyone who got a bit stuck and lost in the instructions.

As well as providing everyone with some top tips about how to keep their strands in check, there was also a couple of different ways to attach clasps for us to try.
Full instructions were also provided but Clare-Marie talked us through and showed us what to do at each step.

Everyone was able to make at least one set of jewellery to take home withe the enthusiasm to make many more sets!

You’ve Got A Friend In Me - March Meeting

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Clare welcomed Rachel Kelley and Cara Gates from the Dementia Research Group at Leeds Beckett University. There are researching the involvement of families in the hospital care of patients with Dementia.

Dementia is an umbrella term for various diseases which impact the brain. Alzheimer’s is a common type, caused by the build-up of protein. Pick’s disease is another – recently shown on the programme The Trouble With Dad with David Baddiel.

Dementia does not just occur in old people and not all old people suffer from Dementia.

It is also not just about losing your memory, you can lose communication skills, logical reasoning, sequencing skills and perception can all be affected.

Cara gave us a good explanation of how dementia can affect a person See for details

Adaptions can be made once problems diagnosed e.g. an elderly person who has lost recent memories may only remember boiling a kettle by putting it on the cooker, in which case you would get them that type of kettle rather than an electric one.

Rachel shared some statistics:

  • 25% of patients in General Hospitals have Dementia (though they may be in there for a variety of reasons)
  • They often have a poorer experience of care and are distressed, disoriented and unable to communicate their problems.
  • This can have serious consequences such as malnutrition, dehydration, infection, delirium, higher mortality rates, more like to end up in institutional care.
  • For 50% of those patients the Dementia is not diagnosed.
  • These patients are 3 times more likely to die during their stay then non-Dementia sufferers.
  • A third of them did live at home but then did not return home and ended up in some kind of care.
  • Their hospital stays last twice as long.
  • Personal knowledge about a patient which is gained when Friends and Family are involved in the support and care can improve the patient’s experience of and outcomes from care. E.g. knowing that a patient always eats toast for breakfast and need their routine so refuses a breakfast of cereal in hospital.
But Hospitals are not always welcoming to visitors so there are a few things going on to address this:

Rachel has done a PHD on the impact of Family involvement in care.
In 2016 there were only 9 published studies and these did not involve all 3 parties (patient, medical professionals, family) and focussed on interviews and physical care. Rachel spent 9 months per ward she studied across different NHS trusts.

She carried out interviews but also hours of observations where she sat and watched what was happening, she also had permission to attend meetings with the medical staff and was able to build a story of an individual’s hospital stay. She discovered that there was were lots of causes of disconnects in the care of Dementia patients.

  • The hospital environment is very clinical
  • Very busy
  • Patients felt unsafe
  • They questioned why they were there
  • There are unfamiliar routines
  • They are surrounded by strangers
  • They are not in their own clothes
  • The food is different
  • They had no personal belongings
  • Staff were too busy
  • The wards were staffed for patient’s physical needs
  • Conflicting priorities – short visiting hours to minimise risk of infection
  • Some visitors would never meet the medical team covering most of their relatives care e.g. they visit in the evening when that shift has gone home
  • Patients not always involved in decisions
  • But where there was a Connect this resulted in a better experience
  • Family being around
  • Staff have specialist training e.g. making a connection with a patient whilst carrying out a routine task e.g. during time taken to bathe a patient
  • Make the ward a more homely environment
  • Knowledge from the family e.g. that one gentleman always said Yes and No the wrong way around
  • Staff finding out a fact about that person which would trigger a conversation e.g. I hear you used to work in the mill

The current research programme is gathering more evidence about the positive impact of involving family & friends. They are developing a set of guidelines for involving family & friends.
They are developing and testing ways of involving family & friends to meet their needs as well as those of patients and medical staff.

Also people without families need to be considered – what can be done to improve their outcomes?

What can you do?

You can sign up to varying commitments from being more aware and generally supportive to spending time with a specific individual.

Where to find out more · ·

We thanked Rachel and Cara for a very interesting talk.

Thanks to everyone who made and/or decorated a Twiddlemuff – they were amazing. Clare and Rachel will be taking these to the Dementia ward at St James Hospital.

Any Dream Will Do - February Meeting

Wednesday, 28 June 2017 § 0

The February meeting was a general craft meeting which gave us all the chance to do a bit of catching up.

There were all of the materials needed to make a dream catcher.

There was plenty of chatter and a few drinks were had while crafting amazing dream catchers.

All members had lots of fun and thoroughly enjoyed the evening.

Say You Want a Resolution - January Meeting

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Buns & Roses kicked off the year in style with attendees making a name badge with our new supply of Scrabble tiles and using Christmas cards to make decorations or crackers whilst we got down to the serious business of the Resolutions.

The committee presented the shortlisted resolutions:

1. Alleviating loneliness

This meeting calls on every WI and the NFWI to work alongside health and social care providers and their local community to raise awareness of the causes and impacts of loneliness, thus ensuring better identification of lonely people in order to be able to offer them the appropriate assistance and support.

2. FGM: More Awareness for More Action

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) has been illegal in the UK for over 30 years and the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 made it illegal to aid, abet or procure the carrying out of FGM abroad. However, there have been no successful prosecutions of those involved. The NFWI calls on the government to improve efforts to measure and disclose the prevalence of FGM in the UK and to take further action to help secure more successful prosecutions of those involved in this abusive practice and thereby advance the health of women who have suffered or may be at risk of suffering FGM.

3. Equal access for all who need specialised maternal mental health services

There is presently an acute shortage of quality specialised maternal mental health services, meaning that many vulnerable women, their babies, and families face a postcode lottery of perinatal mental health support. The NFWI calls on NHS commissioners to prioritise the development of specialised perinatal mental health support services so that pregnant and postnatal women, their babies, and families are able to access the support they need.

4. Provision of appropriate welfare and safe spaces for women and children in refugee camps

Millions of women and children are fleeing conflict and disaster around the world, finding themselves at risk of violence, abuse and exploitation in refugee camps. This meeting calls on all WI members and the NFWI to raise awareness of the risks facing women and children refugees and push for action to ensure they have access to safe places to eat and sleep, to get the care they need and space to learn and play.

5. Supporting women’s refuges

Many women and children rely on refuges to escape violence and abusive relationships, but in recent years refuges have faced significant cuts to their services. The NFWI calls upon the Government to safeguard refuges and increase service provision in areas without adequate support.

6. Plastic Soup: Keep micro plastic fibres out of our oceans

Micro plastic fibres are shed from synthetic clothing with every wash and are the main contributors to micro plastic contamination of the oceans. The NFWI calls on Government and industry to research and develop innovative solutions to this problem in order to stop the accumulation of micro plastic fibres in our oceans.

Every member had the opportunity to select which resolution they would like to see put forward for voting at the Annual Meeting (AM).
In mid Feb - NFWI Board of Trustees meets to finalise list of resolutions for the AM agenda, based on the number of selection votes from members, progress of existing campaigns and key developments on the resolutions. AM resolution(s) sent from the NFWI to all federations after the Board meets and further briefing notes are published on the NFWI website and Moodle.
AM resolution(s) published in April’s WI Life magazine.

At our May meeting we will review resolution(s) to be voted on at the AM and decide whether we want to vote in favour or against the resolution.

Mistletoe and (Mulled) Wine - December Meeting

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In true Buns & Roses style, the Christmas Party went down a treat. There were plenty of activities to keep us all busy as well as fizz for all.

The committee had prepared a quiz, but we were actually too distracted to do – never mind it will keep until next year!

All of our members brought some food for a fuddle and there was a great selection as always.

The most exciting point of the entire evening was the Secret Santa – some great gifts were exchanged!

We had set up a book swap with a few books being exchanged, the rest were donated to charity.

A prize draw to win your 2017 membership – well done to our winner
(money raised will go to WYF as we did not do a sporting event/WI fortnight activity in September)

A craft activity – we made clay Christmas decorations as per the following -

Above pictures taken from the Bright Bazaar Website © All rights reserved 2015 Bright.Bazaar

Highway to Well - November Meeting

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Helen Kemp who has been the Chief Executive of Leeds Mind, for over 2 years gave us an interesting overview of their work and some facts and figures regarding mental health.

Leeds Mind was founded in 1972 and now has 4 sites across the city – HQ in Horsforth, Kirkstall, Beeston and Chapel Allerton. They have around 50 staff but rely on 150 volunteers to provide their services.

They are a registered as a charity in their own right, but are affiliated to the national Mind charity and assessed every 3 years to maintain this.

1 in 4 will experience mental health issues
It is estimated to cost the economy 105 billion a year

The charity shops are run by the national Mind charity which is a campaigning organisation. A percentage of the profits from the shop go towards grants for the local Mind charities.

A 5 Year Forward Plan for Mental Health has been produced – this contains many of the figures and some of the general information shared by Helen – follow this link for more information.

Leeds Mind offer counselling, group therapy, social support, peer support, self-directed support, social prescribing, housing support, employment support, suicide bereavement support, and mental health training – many of these are run by people who have gone through the sessions themselves.

They are recovery focussed and work with people to achieve their goals to live the life they want.

They have a 30% success rate in getting people with mental health difficulties into paid employment against 9% from the DWP. They encourage self-help and self-management and are looking to set up some courses in Mindfulness next year.

(A lady in the room recommended

Leeds Mind is a lead for Mindful Employers - - this is a charter for Employers who are Positive About Mental Health.

The Chapel Allerton site is a community arts centre – Inkwell

Here they run courses as part of the Social Prescribing agenda and also fundraise through the running of a café. There are plans in place to build a training kitchen and have more exhibition and studio space.

There are now Mental Health First Aid courses -

For more general information or if you or anyone you know needs help/advice go to

The Mindwell site which was launched on World Mental Health Day (10th October) – it is the go-to site for information and assistance on mental health issues.

For young people there is Mindmates

The meeting closed shortly after 9:00 and Helen was thanked for a very engaging and informative talk.

Wrapper’s Delight - November Workshop

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Back by popular demand, Bev from A Dog Called Dill joined us for a Christmas themed crafty evening.

The room was all set up when guests arrived, ready to dig in and enjoy the papercraft evening.

Bev began by showing us all how to use the guillotine to make the perfect toppers for our cards. She also demonstrated how to make the perfect Christmas decoration and topper for Christmas cards and lables.

Once we'd chosen our design it was just a matter of fitting all of the pieces together. As always Bev was on hand to gives us all some hints and tips in regards to putting everything together.

This was done with gusto as everyone tried to get as much done as possible before the end of the session. I think some people even finished all of their designs!


Let’s go to the Hops - October Meeting

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Our President, Emma introduced Annabel Smith, a beer sommelier and founder of Dea Latis and Beerbelle.

Picture of Annabel Smith taken from the gallery page of her website

Dea Latis is a group formed to change women’s perceptions about beer and encourage more women to consider beer as a drink of choice.

Annabel has over 25 years experience in the beer industry and shared her passion and knowledge with us over a few drinks & nibbles ….

We tried 5 beers in total

1) A wheat beer with smoked salmon

This was Erdinger Weissbier, this is slightly cloudy due to a protein in the wheat which cannot be brewed out.
The beer is light and not bitter. The beer cut through the fattiness of the smoked salmon.

2) A pilsner with Chorizo

Pilsner Urquell - a type of lager. Lager has only been around since the 1840’s but now makes up 90% of total beer consumed globally. Lager was discovered by accident when some beer was left in some ice caves and the yeast mutated. The term pilsner can only be used if particular Czech barley and hops are used, otherwise the term pils is used indicate a pilsner style beer.
We could smell toffee and caramel with this one, once tasted there were waves of flavours including some bitterness. The chorizo made it taste less bitter

3) A pale ale with mature cheddar cheese

Timothy Taylor’s Landlord – this one was amber in colour – actually a lot light than the original beers brewed but the steps made in the industrial revolution meant that brewing became more consistent. This beer is made from barley from Scotland or Northumberland and Hopes from Kent. We could smell toast and marmalade. The word to describe how the beer and cheese tasted together seemed to be yum.
We drank the bottled version which is pasturised, normally this is hand-pulled. If your pint if warm and flat, it is not being stored correctly – when Annabel was an inspector 13% of pubs failed with temperature of the beer being the main reason why.

4) An abbey ale with brie

Leffe Blond – which is derived from a beer originally brewed by Trappist monks but is now sold commercially.
These beers tend to be a bit stronger and are sipping beers.
They are popular in northern Europe.
The monks were literate, clean and patient - this led to good beer which they were able to sell to support the upkeep of their monasteries
This beer has added sugar and smells of vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon.
The sweetness of the beer completed the creaminess of the brie.
There are still 7 Trappist breweries left (6 in Belgium, 1 in France) – their beer is marked with a hexagon

5) A Kriek with Chocolate Brownies

Bacchus Kriek – made with all natural ingredients, not flavorings. Whole cherries including the stones are added to the fermenting vessels. The style of this beer is a Lambic which is fermented by being exposed to will yeasts in the atmosphere (specifically found in Belgium). We could smell marzipan and cherries, when combined with a chocolate brownie or some bonus dark chocolate, we got black forest gateau

Picture taken from the gallery at website

The meeting closed at around 21:45 with Annabel encouraging us to remember the beer aisle when we next in the supermarket.

Emma thanked Annabel for what was an engaging and entertaining evening.

We’re Jammin - October Workshop

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For this workshop we went to The Armley Junk-tion Cafe. As well as using their cooking facilities, we were also able to use up some of the surplus ingredients - which The Real Junk Food Project rescues and re-uses rather than ending up in landfill.

The lovely Teresa set up all of the ingredients for us and helped set up cooking stations for all those enrolled on the workshop.

Teresa from the Armley Junk-tion Cafe

Sue Bond was the tutor for the workshop and she came armed with a number of recipes to make the most of the surplus fruit. There were some wild and wacky combinations including a fruity melon number and even a caramelized banana jam!

Surplus food at the cafe - all of which has been diverted from landfill.

After donning our aprons Sue explained the basics of jam making and we chose our ingredients and set to work.

Firstly we popped our jars in the oven to sterilize, after which we set about weighing and measuring all of our ingredients. After a few minutes of boiling, the first jam was ready for potting up!

It was such a fun evening and everyone went home with at least one pot of jam which they were really happy with.

Let it grow - September Meeting

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On this balmy September evening, we were joined by Angela Broadhead with support from her friend Alison. Angela owns and runs Swithens Farm with her husband Ian.

Angela explained that Ian’s mother and father moved to the farm as tenants in 1963 when her husband was 5 years old. It was originally part of the Calverly Estate which had Oulton Hall as its manor house.

They grew potatoes and other vegetables on the farm to sell at the farm gate, kept livestock and ran a livery stable, where a young Angela kept her horse (and the rest as they say is history).

In the 1990s they converted to pig-farming in a big way and did very well out of it until that market crashed and they had to do all they could to avoid bankruptcy. They then started to covert old farm buildings into stables to build up the livery side again – they started with 4 and now have 110.

The in-laws retired in 2005 and at the same time the farm went up for sale – it was sold to company in the Isle of Man but when it went bankrupt Angela and Ian had to decide between a massive financial undertaking or losing the business they had rebuilt so far. They went for it and got a massive mortgage to buy the farm from the bank. They could not afford to buy the farmhouse, which in the end was bought by a close friend.

After a while as well as continuing to run the livery service they needed to decide what direction to follow to take the business forward – should they fully invest in cows & pigs (after their previous experience) or the farm shop route. Following advice from their friends at Blacker Hall Farm, Angela and Ian decided on the farm shop route. Along with the farm shop came a café, a play barn and animals.

See for more information.

If you visit, for a small entrance fee, you will see sheep, ducks, llamas, alpacas, donkeys, ponies, goats, cows, pigs including former pet pigs, chickens, rabbits and Meer cats

Angela gets given animals (Meer cats) or they find her (a stray cow!)

They also breed cows, pigs and sheep to supply the farm shop.
These animals are largely fed on the vegetables, grown on a neighbouring farm which the supermarkets reject. Swithens Farm collect 2 trailer loads a day!

The animals go to the most local abattoir possible for slaughter and then go back to the farm to be butchered.

The farm is a family business with Angela’s two daughters aged 28 and 30 managing the petting farm and the stable yard respectively.

Also Angela’s ‘retired’ parents help out either in the shop, as a carrot chopper or baking for the café.
The farm hosts all kind of events from kids’ parties in the play barn to the occasional tea dance.
There’s a dog training centre, a garden centre and an indoor riding arena on site and Swithens also plays host to horse shows.

Swithens Farm does a lot to support local and diverse groups including:

  • Free entry for disabled people
  • A dementia friendly café
  • All areas are totally accessible by wheelchair and double buggy (although not all will manage the tractor ride)
  • Local crafts for sale in the shop
  • Regular donations of equestrian equipment from the livery yard to Hope pastures
  • Supporting Candlelighters and Little Hiccups

Horses are still one of Angela’s passions – she has 3 and did do some show jumping but has now taken up dressage. She is has bred a foal from her dressage horse which just that day had been sent away to be schooled.

Angela brought some free range eggs for us to purchase and they seemed to disappear very quickly. She explained that these come from their brood of 300 chickens – they get around 200 eggs a day. They buy young chicks at the age when they are about to start laying but unlike commercial free range egg production they keep the chickens until they die naturally even when they have stopped laying.