Hi everyone,

We made it through our very first AGM.. Whoop Whoop!! 
There was a fair amount of business to get through and so we decided against replacing our speaker, but that didn’t mean we didn’t have fun, Au contraire… We popped the corks on a fair few bottles of Prossecco and decorated our Belles Hearts for the Christmas Tree Festival, they look fantastic and it was lovely to sit and chat with so many of you this month.  

We kicked off the night with presentations from our Secretary - Tiffany Diamond, she ran through the meetings we had held so far, it was great to remind ourselves of the variety of speakers and events. She also took us through our work with Demelza and our successful launch of the Guest List.  

Treasurer - Laura Morgan ran through our finances, she explained that this year we were entitled to keep 100% of our membership fees, as a committee we decided to be fairly prudent and not spend all our funds in the first year especially as next year member’s fees would be split between ourselves the National Federation and our local East Sussex Federation. This funds our advisors, events and subsidises the workshops such as the recent chutney making course. She advised that there is a small (£1.50) increase in the membership fees for 2017 but that we had enough funds to schedule a fantastic programme for 2017.  Our accounts were proposed and seconded. 

We finished with a presentation from our President - Leasa Buhlman.  She thanked the committee, the sub-group leaders and the helpers for all their hard work, dedication and just getting stuck in.  Leasa spoke of her thoughts on our group, she said “friendship is not a quick, overnight thing.  It’s shared experiences, shared laughter, shared time” and then ended with a quote from another WI president “When I line up next to you I feel proud of us, and happy that WE are the WI” 

If you were not able to make the meeting please do take 5 and read through the presentations.
Click through to our AGM 2016 Page on our website -  (password gin&jam)

We then handed over to Shirley our WI Advisor to handle the voting.  The existing committee were all still gung-ho for another year and following the AGM invite back in September, Karen Curtis also put her name forward to join. Shirley asked the members if they were happy to vote ‘En Bloc' this was carried by a majority vote.   As per the rules of the WI, every member of the committee is proposed for the role of president, members then pick who they would like it to be, following an amusing round of ‘No - Thank You’s’ from proposed committee members, Leasa Buhlman agreed to steer us for another year and remain President.

The committee had a very brief meeting to agree the named roles:

Leasa Buhlman – President
Heather Camsell – Vice President
Laura Morgan – Treasurer
Tiffany Diamond – Secretary

With the following members taking on committee responsibilities:

Anne Duc
Becky Maini
Charlotte Clarke
Karen Curtis
Laura Dobson
Sophia Hill

We wrapped up the business portion of our meeting with a quick update on our plans for the late night shopping event in December.  Last month you gave us some ideas for the stall and following a quick chat with the President of the Uckfield Diva’s to ensure we wouldn’t be doing the same (they will be selling Jam’s and Home Made Craft’s) we have decided our festively decorated stand will sell edible goodies (mince pies, cheese straws, biscuits etc.) and serving mulled wine.  Our Choir will also be adding to the festive spirit with a few Christmas Carols. A separate email will be coming very soon with further updates.

Lastly from your new committee we would like to thank you all for your support and look forward to seeing you all at our hotly anticipated Cheese and Wine event.


Novembers meeting (22nd November @ 7.30pm) We have Martin from Cheese etc and Charles from Noble wines showcasing 6 different cheeses each paired with alcohol and to test Charles' knowledge we have also tasked him with finding an accompyment to 'GARY' or vegan cheese. We will have non-alcoholic drinks available too.

We have 25 guest spaces for this event and they are being snapped up! If you have a friend you would like to bring along please register a place on EventBrite alternatively please email general@uckfieldwi.co.uk. It's a £5 charge for guests payable on the door.

Belles Committee.