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Gloucester Road WI

The WI for Bristol's most interesting and independent high street. Meeting the 3rd Tues monthly.

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Gloucester Road WI

We are the Gloucester Road WI, the WI for Bristol's most interesting and independent high street.

11 Dec: Christmas party

Merry Christmas everyone and we look forward to seeing you all for the bring a dish Christmas party next week.

If you weren’t at last month’s meeting and are not sure what to bring please just bring something to share or just come along. Please can all food be labelled if they contain allergens (gluten, nuts etc) and if it’s a shop bought item please keep hold of the packaging.

In a bid to be environmentally friendly (and save on the washing up!) we will not be using disposable plates so can everyone please bring their own plate and cutlery.

We’ll be running our Christmas raffle, which this year goes to our charity, LinkAge. Plus they’ll be some games, a glass of bubbly (or non-alcoholic), and the traditional announcement of next year’s programme.

Review November: Christmas Patchwork Baubles

Review October: AGM & LinkAge

20 Nov: Christmas Baubles

Come along to November’s meeting for a craft activity demonstrated by Alison. We will be making Christmas patchwork baubles, a skill Alison picked up at this year’s Tea n’ Tents.

Photo credit: joannasheenscountrydays.com

Expressions Art Festival

We were delighted to have a stand at the Expressions Arts Festival which took place at the Paintworks in September 2018. Thank you to our members who made cakes as well as those that came along to help on the stand. All the money raised is going to our 2018 charity – Linkage Bristol.

16 Oct: AGM & Linkage

October’s meeting will be our Annual General Meeting followed by a speaker from this year’s charity, Linkage Bristol.

Review September: 100 Women Workshop & Make/Bake/Grow Off

Review August: Organ Donation Nurses and Blood Bikers

We were really pleased to welcome two lots of speakers to our August meeting.

First we heard from Specialist Nurses in Organ Donation, Sylvia Crump,  Izzy Derrick and Rachel Stone.

I think we all knew that transplantation of an organ or tissue can be life changing, however we do not really talk openly about death in this country and about our own wishes if we were to die.

If there was one thing we all took away it was the importance to have the conversation with your family and close friends so they are aware of what you would want.

Sylvia, Izzy and Rachael work for NHS Blood and Transplant and are based at Southmead. They explained the very specific circumstances in which a person needs to pass away in order to donate organs: in a hospital on the intensive care ward.

Age is not a barrier. There may be a reduced likelihood that organs can be used but if they are working then the organ donation team will try to find a matching recipient.

Here is some of the information they gave us about organs that are donated:

The Heart – a life-saving transplant for the recipient. The organ can be donated as a whole organ OR heart valves can be transplanted, often to help newborn babies.

The Lungs – a life-saving transplant for the recipient which, for example, it transforms the lives of young Cystic Fibrosis patients.

The Liver – there are two lobes to the liver and the small lobe can be donated by a live donor. It is also possible to take cells from the liver to help regenerate the liver in the recipient. This process has a very high success rate in children – around 88% – and can mean that they do not need to go on to have full transplant. As if that wasn’t brilliant enough, the cells can also be frozen and used for 7 years!

The Kidneys – a life-changing transplantation. For patients on kidney dialysis life is very restrictive. They need to attend dialysis sessions 3-4 times a week, must closely monitor their fluid intake and follow a specific diet. Those waiting for a kidney make up the biggest proportion of the waiting list.

The Pancreas – a life-changing transplantation. It may be the whole organ or islet cells from within it. Often used for patients who have very unstable diabetes.

It is also possible to donate tissue and the donors do not need to be on the ITU ward. Here is the information we heard about that:

Corneas – one donor could help between 2 and 5 people.

Bone/Tendon/Skin – all types of tissue transplant. Tends not to be so frequent but can be stored for some time and be used when there is a spike in demand, for example when there are traumatic events like the Manchester bombing.

Our second speaker was Edward Shephard who volunteers with Freewheelers EVS.

As a registered charity they are reliant on donations to run the out of hours service that they provide to the NHS.

Edward explained that like many of the riders, controllers, mechanics and fundraisers, he got involved because he wanted to give something back to NHS.  There are around 120 volunteers in Freewheelers EVS, with approximately 80 of those riding the bikes providing the medical courier service in our region. Now part of a national network, they were one of first blood bike groups to set up.

The very first emergency volunteer service (EVS) was established in 1962 after Margaret Ryerson organised a courier service for small pox vaccines during the postal strike. Initially in London it extended to the South of England, although did not remain in place beyond the strike.

Nowadays Freewheelers EVS saves the NHS approximately 400,000 each year transporting blood, fresh frozen plasma, pathology samples, medication, x-rays/scans, patient notes, equipment, surgical tools and breast milk. In addition to this they also promote safe motorcycle riding.

The courier jobs are called through to the controller who allocates it to the volunteer courier on standby. The exception is a daily job supplying the air ambulance with the blood and fresh frozen plasma when their shift change takes place out of hours.

With a fleet of 11 motorbikes, there are 4 in operation every evening in the patch covered by the Freewheelers with volunteers undertaking 12 hour shifts (7pm-7am) Monday to Thursday or making themselves available from 7pm on Friday to 7am on Monday, unless of course it is a bank holiday in which case they carry on until 7am on Tuesday morning.

If you’d like to know more about the service there is a fantastic video you can watch explaining the difference they make every day.

Thank you to Edward, Sylvia, Izzy and Rachel for a very interesting evening and to the members who attended and asked lots of interesting questions.

18 September: Bake Off, Make Off, Grow Off

It’s time for this year’s eagerly anticipated grow off / bake off / make off!
This year’s categories are:

Grow – Biggest / Three of a Kind / Novelty
Bake – Cupcake / Muffin / Bread
Make – Home Brew / Floral Arrangement in a Teacup / Up-cycled Wearable Accessory

Each person can have three entries in total for the chance to win themselves a Gloucester Road WI rosette.

Photo Credit: Charisse Kenion on Unsplash

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