Ladies, I am sure it will come as no great surprise, but it is with a heavy heart that I confirm we will not meet as a WI group during April and May, and perhaps even beyond.

We, like other groups across the country have to heed government advice to protect both the most vulnerable in our society and the capacity of our precious NHS, so all our meetings, trips and sub groups are postponed until better days ahead.

I have spoken to several members in the past days, and know what a mixture of emotions we are all going through. The common thread is fear: fear of being stuck in the house and not seeing anyone, fear of losing a job, fear of our mental health suffering, of not seeing our loved ones, of seeing a precious business fail, of not being able to pay our bills, of finding food, of catching Covid19 or above all losing someone dear to us to this terrible virus.

We face challenging days ahead, and maintaining our personal equilibrium is perhaps the biggest challenge. Many of you want to find ways to help those worse off than ourselves which is commendable and symbolic of all the WI stands for.

At present I would say look after yourselves, your families and your neighbours first, and if you have spare capacity offer your help to one of the fantastic voluntary sector organisations in Selby who will be mobilising this week to support the vulnerable. 

The Operations Team will be looking at creative ways of staying in touch, and of course if any member needs support in any way please do get in touch and we will do what we can to help.

Sadly there will be no reduction in our annual subs to cover missed meetings, but I’m sure this is down everyone’s list of things to worry about right now.

Keep smiling ladies, I am sure we will all meet up again very soon having made it through some dark days.

Warmest wishes, Susie and the Selby Swans team.