January meeting report
Moira opened the meeting by welcoming everyone and our speaker Gary Hibbins from The Abingdon Bridge (TAB).
Apologies were received from Mary, Marian, Ann, Gaby, Loran, Maria and Sheila.
Viv introduced our speaker Gary whom she first met in 1996 when he joined John Mason School in Year 7. Gary’s talk was most interesting and at times quite moving. He explained that the Bridge project has developed from the original “Drop In Centre” to something which now provides a counselling service for young people from ages 10 to 25 years. The project is not government financed but has received funding from Children in Need, the Lottery and support by way of donations. It costs £200,000 a year to run. We learned that Abingdon is the largest centre for drugs outside of London. Drugs such as crack cocaine and heroin are distributed by County Lines. He explained how young people get tricked into working for the drug dealers. An interesting and informative discussion followed his presentation. Viv proposed a vote of thanks and suggested that if we were looking for a local charity to support The Bridge would certainly be under consideration.
The business meeting followed. Moira thanked Trine for running the raffle and the other helpers. She reminded members that the next meeting is the AGM and they need to consider taking some responsibility for running our WI otherwise there is a danger of it closing. Nomination forms were available for completing tonight.
Anne reported that the books have been audited. She told us that Sheila had decided not to take up the bursary from last year. Boards were ready for OFWI Annual Meeting, Museum of London trip, and ‘When the Dogs Don’t Bark’.
Anita gave her report on Abingdon Fitzharrys’ involvement in the ‘Hundred Mile Challenge for 100 years’, run by the Oxfordshire Federation to celebrate its centenary in 2019. Fifteen of our members had walked 1,590 miles altogether. Eight had walked 100 miles each. Two members had totalled 741.2 miles. Maria had cycled 600 miles.
After refreshments we settled down to tackle Denise’s quiz about Oxford. Three teams got the highest score of 12/22. Fortunately, Anne had anticipated there would be a number of winners and distributed several little bags filled with chocolates which were gratefully received! Thanks, Anne.
Moira close the meeting at 9.35 pm.