NHSRF (Harrogate Branch): Meeting 14th February
Before the start of the Business Meeting, John Rostill (Chief Executive) of the Retirement Fellowship addressed the members and said how delighted he was to be attending a meeting of such a successful branch – one of the most successful, if not the most successful, in the country!
He particularly asked whether there was anyone willing to take on the role of Regional Representative for Yorkshire and stressed what an interesting and fulfilling role it was. The person involved would travel to the various Yorkshire branches, meet other members and have the opportunity to attend national meetings in London. He stressed what an important role this was and mentioned that Gillian Oldfield had been the Regional Representative in the past.
John also spoke about Ethel Armstrong and the various roles she had played in the Fellowship and how pleased he was that she had received an MBE in the New Year’s Honours.
2018 was, he said, a very important year for the NHS – the 5th July 2018 was the 70th anniversary of the introduction of the NHS and many events were taking place to commemorate this important anniversary. These included services at Westminster Abbey and York Minster.
Val Muscroft, ex Vice-Chairman, Chairman and at present Minute Secretary, had been invited to a Royal Garden Party and was taking Brenda Hawkswell-Stock as her guest
TRASH TO TREASURE
The speaker at our May meeting was Chris Powell of The Cone Exchange. This was started in 2003 as a result of a visit to Betty’s & Taylor’s Group by some children with learning difficulties. A boy spotted an empty cone in a waste bin which had been used for making tea bags and asked if he could have it to make an angel. This lead to many children making angels which were displayed in the windows of Starbeck shops, then sold and so the story began.
Cones were then made into rockets and telescopes, discontinued boxes into pirate ships and castles and, from the sale of these items, the money was used to buy equipment to expand the project into making a variety of other items such as butterflies, spiders etc. from rubber. Other waste products such as hessian sacks, ribbons and off-cuts of material were then made into shopping and hand bags.
Chris became involved in the annual Knitting & Stitching Show held in the Royal Hall each November and also took stands at Music Festivals to sell these items. He was also invited to hold workshops at Harlow Carr Gardens and The Pavilions and students with learning difficulties are given work experience which results in them earning money by selling their products.
Chris was awarded and MBE in 2008 and has appeared in T V programmes and last Wednesday morning the BBC was filming for a Blue Peter programme.
It is a truly remarkable, imaginative and inspiring story which was delivered with humour and was very well received by the 63 members who were present at the meeting.